Gordon will join RedBird in February, the private equity firm said in a statement. His opening of a Los Angeles office will bring RedBird’s total North American locations to seven, including its New York headquarters.
Gordon, like Cardinale, has a long history with Goldman Sachs. He has been with the firm for 35 years, most recently as global chairman of investment banking services and head of the division’s western region. He was also a global sector head in Goldman Sachs’ tech, media and telecom group.
Gordon’s hire will extend RedBird’s expertise in the media, sports and technology sectors, the statement said. Some of that expertise was obtained working on RedBird deals.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gordon had a role in the initial public offering that launched RedBall Acquisition Corp, a sports-focused special purpose acquisition company sponsored by a RedBird affiliate. The SPAC’s IPO closed in August, raising $575 million.
Gordon also had a part in RedBird’s 2019 investment in Skydance Media, an entertainment production studio. RedBird partnered in the $275 million deal with the Ellison family, Tencent and CJ Entertainment.
Gordon’s hire, and the creation of a West Coast presence, is the latest in a series of high-profile initiatives by RedBird, which is best known for its transactions in the sports world.
RedBird has done a number of sports deals of late, among them last year’s investment in YES Network, a top regional sports network. RedBird, Blackstone and Mubadala Capital backed the New York Yankees’ acquisition of YES from Walt Disney for $3.5 billion.
More recently, RedBird acquired France’s Toulouse Football Club. It said in July it would buy an 85 percent interest in the soccer franchise from owner Olivier Sadran.
RedBird is expected to undertake more such transactions. Buyouts in June reported the firm secured nearly $1.2 billion toward a $1.7 billion target for a third flagship offering. The fund’s forthcoming close, along with the proceeds of the SPAC IPO, should create a sizeable war chest for additional sports investments.
Cardinale founded RedBird in 2014 as a growth equity investor in verticals in sports and other sectors, including consumer, financial services, and tech, media and telecom. One of its longstanding investors is Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Action item: Read Karishma Vanjani’s PE Hub story, Private equity’s shot at the Big Leagues, here.