Business

One Championship's equity boost came from 'old uni friend'

The recent funds injection into mixed martial arts promoter One Championship came partly from a long-standing friendship, according to chairman and chief executive Chatri Sityodtong.

The sports events firm, founded in 2011 with a focus on the Asian market, snagged a fresh equity investment in July led by Sequoia Capital India and Mission Holdings. This took the amount raised to US$100 million (S$136.5 million) in all.

One Championship, which organises and broadcasts mixed martial arts events from Asia, had previously netted a deal worth a "significant eight-figure sum" from a consortium headed by a unit of Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings.

Mr Chatri, 46, told The Straits Times that One Championship's success is partly due to the support of Indian billionaire Saurabh Mittal, the chairman of private global investment company Mission Holdings and an old university friend of his.

Mr Chatri said that "we have plenty of capital left" but added: "We have a few institutional investors who have circled us quite heavily... and we will choose partners if we believe they can help accelerate the business and give us competitive advantages.

"So, there is a potential that next year, one of these parties will be announced as a partner."

Mr Mittal, 43, said: "Both Temasek and Sequoia sort of fill that role. The reason we partnered with them was not because they were able to cut a cheque, but because they were able to add significant value to the business."

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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