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Former IMG Exec launches private equity firm for sports, media and entertainment

Former IMG CEO Bobby Sharma launches private equity firm Bluestone Equity Partners, with a focus on the global sports, media and entertainment industries.

The company announced on Wednesday the raising of its inaugural $300 million growth capital round to focus on established companies and proven assets in that space. Sharma co-runs the company with Kyle Charters, a former executive of Inner Circle Sports.

Sharma previously served as global head of basketball and strategic initiatives at IMG, general counsel of the NBA Development League, where he helped create the NBA’s first minor league, and vice chairman and CEO of Soccerex.

“We are proud to unveil Bluestone Equity Partners and our first growth equity fund to capitalize, guide and grow high-quality assets in the sports, media and entertainment industries,” said Sharma.

“Bluestone’s investment philosophy is to partner with exceptional management teams, boards and investors who we believe can deliver extraordinary results. We have a clear strategy to invest in, grow and scale businesses and properties with proven models that will capitalize on the strength of our expertise and relationships in the sports, media and entertainment industries,” said Charters.

Sharma and Charters will also be joined by Walker Brumskine, who will become a director of the company after joining Apollo Global Management, and Jack Ross, who joins as an associate after working at the Blackstone Group.

This is at least the second entertainment-focused private equity firm to announce the close of a funding round this month. Shamrock Capital, an LA-based company focused on media, entertainment and communications, announced Feb. 1 the closing of its third equity fund, which has surpassed its $600 million hard limit.

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