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AA-rated Train lifts stake in 'Old Lady' Juventus FC
by Sarah Miloudi on Feb 17, 2012 at 07:40
AA-rated Nick Train has boosted his stake in Juventus Football Club after taking part in a rights issue and snapping up additional nil-paid rights.
By Train's own admission, his investment in the popular Turin side has 'not done well' to date, with the squad failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for more than one season out of the last five, its relegation battle in 2006 and the €120 million commitment made by the club in 2008 to build a new state of the art stadium.
But Train's position, which represents 1% of his £45.2 million Lindsell Train Global Equity fund's net asset value (NAV), forms part of the same theme that prompted the star manager to build a 6% position in Scottish football club Celtic.
'We believe these unique sports franchises will in the future share the same key characteristics that we look for in our other investments, but just now the ‘industry’ is undergoing such a degree of development and change that the franchises’ potential is largely unrecognised,' Train, who also runs the Lindsell Train investment trust, explained.
'At the same time there are few high quality quoted pure sports franchises listed anywhere. The combination of lack of recognition and scarcity means that these assets are notably cheap, which may give us the opportunity to multiply our investments many times over if we are right.'
Train (pictured) and his co-manager Michael Lindsell believe that in a world of proliferating media in which advertisers are hungry to penetrate larger and more predictable audiences, sport will be key.
'Sport represents the largest, most loyal and valuable audience of all. Hence the high inflation in the cost of advertising on sport - exemplified by the value of a 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl in the USA that has risen more than 10% pa since 1971,' Train said, adding that while American football's fan base is fairly restricted to North America, Europeans' love affair with the beautiful game is far more contagious and is spreading rapidly across the globe.
Train boosted his stake in Juventus, one of Italy's top-flight clubs and which over the years has earned itself the affectionate 'Old Lady' nickname, when the club had a rights issue in January.
Between 31 October 2011 and the end of January 2012, Train and Lindsell's newly launched global equity vehicle has delivered 3.65%.
Versus the average manager, a Citywire analysis of Train's record as a UK equity fund manager shows he has delivered 87% over three years. This compares to 55% by his typical peer.
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