VEGAS (December 13, 2022) – Bill Foley, Cannae Holdings (NYSE: CNNE) (“Cannae”) and select limited partners announced today the completion of the acquisition of AFC Bournemouth of the Premier League from previous owner Maxim Demin. The transaction has received all necessary approvals from the Premier League.
Under the terms of the agreement, Foley leads the partnership known as Black Knight Football Club and serves as AFC Bournemouth’s General Partner. A businessman and philanthropist, Foley also has an extensive background in sports including tremendous success as the founder and owner of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights.
The minority ownership group is led by award-winning actor, director and producer Michael B. Jordan and Nullah Sarker (The Players Tribune, Davis Cup). AFC Bournemouth is Jordan’s first foray into professional sports ownership. Jordan and Sarker will work closely with Foley in areas including global marketing and internationalization of the club.
Foley, Jordan and their partners are committed to providing the investment and resources necessary to sustain and build upon AFC Bournemouth’s recent success, which includes returning to the Premier League in 2022-23, where the Cherries have spent six of the last eight seasons. Foley is committed to increased investment to improve AFC Bournemouth player experience and development, improve AFCB’s academy and the supporter experience at Vitality Stadium. The new ownership group will immediately begin construction on a state-of-the-art training center for both the first team and academy, and will make an increased financial commitment to the AFC Bournemouth women’s team and girls and women’s soccer in the area.
“I have tremendous respect for the passion and support the Bournemouth community shows for this club and believe that connection to the community is the foundation for success of any sports team,” Foley said. “We will move forward with an ‘Always Advance, Never Retreat’ approach that has defined all of my endeavors. I am committed to work with the best football and business minds available to enhance player development, facilities and the fan experience to put AFC Bournemouth in the best possible position to succeed.”
Foley attended the Cherries’ October victory over Leicester City and has purchased a home in Bournemouth as well. He will return to Bournemouth following the World Cup break and be in attendance for the next home match, December 31 versus Crystal Palace.
“In Bill Foley, we are now led by a highly successful and committed individual with an impressive track record in business and sport,” said Neill Blake, AFC Bournemouth CEO. “We are delighted to welcome him, his family and his partners to the club. We are in no doubt that AFC Bournemouth is in very safe hands as we look to cement our position in the top division in the coming seasons.”
Demin moves on after 11 years as AFC Bournemouth’s owner, a run which included the club’s ascension from League One to the Premier League in less than five seasons.
“When Maxim Demin took on AFC Bournemouth in 2011, the football club was in a very precarious position,” Blake said. “Without the belief and financial backing of Mr. Demin and his family, AFC Bournemouth might well have ceased to exist.
“It took less than five seasons of Maxim’s involvement for the club to progress from League One to the Premier League, where his support allowed us to establish ourselves as a top flight team. These are heights we could never have dreamt of reaching previously, and we were delighted he helped us achieve them again last year.”
Foley’s sports background is highlighted by the performance of the Golden Knights, who debuted in 2017-18 with the most successful season for an expansion franchise in any sport, reaching the Stanley Cup Final. The first major league professional team in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights have enjoyed perennial on- and off-ice success and spawned growth in Vegas as a professional sports hub and an exploding youth hockey market.
The success of the Golden Knights has led Foley to acquire the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League and the Vegas Knight Hawks of the Indoor Football League, while his ownership group partnered with the National Basketball Association to operate the NBA G League Ignite. Foley has also led the construction of multiple sports venues and training facilities in the Las Vegas Valley, including The Dollar Loan Center, City National Arena and Lifeguard Arena.
Outside of sports, Foley has successfully founded, grown and operated numerous ventures in the financial sector, hospitality and vineyards. Foley’s philanthropic efforts include the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, the Folded Flag Foundation and the Foley Family Charitable Foundation, all of which are committed to giving back to the community.
ABOUT THE FOLEY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Established by Bill Foley in 2021, Foley Entertainment Group operates the Foley Family’s growing portfolio of entertainment properties, highlighted by the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League, the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League, the Vegas Knight Hawks of the Indoor Football League, two community hockey facilities in the Las Vegas Valley, The Dollar Loan Center sports and entertainment venue in Henderson, NV, the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Hotel Les Mars and Chalkboard Restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, Hotel Californian and Blackbird restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA, Whitefish Mountain in Whitefish, MT, Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard in Dundee, OR, and a number of other assets. The Foley Entertainment Group is committed to providing five-star service and experiences to its fans, guests, customers and clients.
ABOUT THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Vegas Golden Knights are a National Hockey League franchise owned and operated by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC. The Vegas Golden Knights were established by founding partners Bill Foley and his family and the Maloof family. The Golden Knights were the most successful expansion franchise in North American professional sports history in 2017-18 and celebrated their fifth season in 2021-22. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights visit vegasgoldenknights.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.