Football pros close $32m fund of funds

Sports Venture Partners, a private equity firm founded by ex-NFL player Jim Flanigan and former Redskins marketing director John Wagner has closed its first real estate-focused fund of funds.

Sports Venture Partners now has $32 million (€21 million) in capital to direct to real estate. The Chicago-based fund of funds manager, formed in 2000 by former Philadelphia Eagles football player Jim Flanigan and former Redskins marketing director John Wagner, closed SVP Real Estate I on $32 million, approximately 30 percent more than the fund’s initial target.

The vehicle, SVP’s first real estate fund of funds, is already more than 70 percent committed to funds including Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI, Carlyle Real Estate Partners V, Transwestern Multifamily Partners, JP Morgan Greater China Property Fund and Walton Street Real Estate Fund VI.

Jim Flanigan, SVP managing director, said in a statement that the latest fund will provide its investors—primarily professional athletes, as well as other high net worth individuals and institutions—with a diversified, global real estate portfolio. The fund is “well-positioned to take advantage of the current market conditions, including distressed opportunities and debt-induced sales.”

This is the third fund for SVP and its first real estate fund of funds. Its first private equity fund SVP I closed in 2001 on $20 million. SVP II closed in 2006 with $44 million in capital.

Patrick Barry, SVP director, tells PERE that the firm is currently raising a fourth fund, not real estate-focused, which will have its first close later this year. The fund is targeting $150 million.