(Reuters) – Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is in talks with RedBall Acquisition Corp to take his famed sports holding company Fenway Sports Group LLC public, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters late on Friday.

The deal being discussed would merge Fenway Sports Group with RedBall Acquisition Corp and will value the owner of the Liverpool Football Club at around $8 billion including debt, the source said, asking not to be identified.

The talks were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal newspaper, which said the discussions are in the early stage and could still fall apart.

The newspaper also said RedBall, which raised $575 million in August to buy businesses in sports and sports-related media and data analytics, plans to raise an additional $1 billion to buy a stake in Fenway Sports Group that will not exceed 25%.

RedBall, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is co-chaired by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerald Cardinale and baseball executive Billy Beane, who shot to fame with Michael Lewis’s book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.”

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is in talks to join with an investment vehicle for an $8 billion deal that would take his famed sports holdings public, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal being discussed would merge Fenway Sports Group LLC, which also owns English soccer team Liverpool Football Club, with

RedBall Acquisition Corp.


RBAC 0.20%

, the people said. RedBall is a so-called special purpose acquisition company launched by private-equity firm RedBird Capital Partners and Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane.

RedBall, which raised $575 million in August to buy businesses in sports and sports-related media and data analytics, plans to raise an additional $1 billion to purchase a stake that will total less than 25% in Fenway Sports Group and value it at $8 billion including debt, some of the people said.

The talks are in the early innings and could still fall apart. Fenway’s investors had a meeting recently to discuss the potential transaction, one of the people said.

Also known as blank-check companies, SPACs effectively turn the traditional model for initial public offerings on its head by raising money before they develop a business. They use the proceeds to make an acquisition—usually within a couple of years—that converts the target into a public company.

There has been an unexpected boom this year in blank-check deal making, which has gone in and out of favor over the years, as an increasingly large stable of startups and other private companies seek a more expeditious route to the public markets and sponsors hunt for opportunities in the economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Henry, who founded investment firm Henry & Co., bought the Red Sox in 2002 and also owns the

The People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Housing announced in August that they’d drafted new financing rules for real estate companies, but have said little more. But the media reports and people familiar with the upcoming guidelines have said developers wanting to refinance will be assessed against three red lines, or thresholds:

• There will be a 70% ceiling on liabilities to assets, excluding advance proceeds from projects sold on contract;

• a 100% cap on net debt to equity;

• and they must have a cash to short-term borrowing ratio of at least one.

Developers will be categorized based on how many limits they breach and their debt growth will be capped accordingly. If all three are breached, the company won’t be allowed to increase its debt in the following year, according to a report by 21st Century Business Herald. If it passes all three, it can increase its debt a maximum of 15% in the next year. As the regulator hasn’t announced its official calculations, some definitions aren’t clear.

A big part is fear of another housing bubble — and a disastrous bust. Home prices have surged six-fold over the past 15 years, making cities such as Shenzhen less affordable than London. The debt binge by Chinese builders has been an important driver of rising prices, forcing them to charge more to cover a rising interest burden. Potential buyers returned en masse as the pandemic crunch eased, keeping pressure on prices despite the global economic slowdown. The worry is that China could repeat Japan’s mistake in the 1990s of not reining in excessive credit and shutting down insolvent borrowers quickly enough, causing long-term damage to growth in the world’s No. 2 economy. Even before Evergrande’s brief liquidity scare, concern had intensified after Tahoe Group Co. in

Drew Miller joked about wanting to be a pro bass fisherman while growing up.

In reality, his sights were set only a professional hockey career. He achieved that goal, playing 10 seasons in the NHL, the final eight with the Detroit Red Wings.

But after retiring from the game at age 34, he needed to find something to do for the rest of his life.

While many players remain in the game in some capacity, Miller opted for the insurance industry.

“Life after hockey, you’re looking at ways to be successful and I always enjoyed the relationships I had with people and trying to help people,” Miller said. “I think that’s the name of the game in insurance. It’s kind of grown into something I really enjoy on a day to day basis.”

After wrapping up his playing career in 2018 following one season in Sweden, Miller started working with an insurance agency in East Lansing. He joined the Korotkin Insurance Group (KIG), a Southfield-based company founded in 1913, last month.

Miller enjoyed interacting with fans at various team community events when he played and continues doing so in retirement. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was among several former Red Wings who provided pre-game and in-game commentary on the Jumbotron at Little Caesars Arena and took part in suite-holder events.

Those communications skills are beneficial in his new line of work.

“When it comes to insurance, someone’s looking for a professional they can trust, that knows they have their best interest,” Miller said. “I think maybe being a Red Wing gives me more credibility. People feel like they know me a little bit more.

“From my side, I enjoy those interactions with people and I’m in a position to help them protect their assets. I think that’s a huge