MLS buys out only outside investors in media and marketing arm

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Major League Soccer on Monday bought out the only outside investors in its media and marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing.

In 2012, Providence Equity Partners bought 25 percent of SUM for $150 million. The company tripled its initial investment, according to Bloomberg.

SUM handles media, promotions and marketing for MLS, the U.S. Soccer Federation, Mexico games played in the U.S. and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and has helped organize U.S. tours for top foreign clubs and national teams.

The purchase will allow MLS and team owners to retain the full profits from broadcast rights and sponsorships, rather than sharing them with Providence.

Providence's initial 25 percent share in SUM had been diminished though the addition of expansion teams, and was set to get even smaller with MLS looking to eventually grow to 28 clubs.

"Major League Soccer has seen tremendous growth since 2012," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "We would like to thank Jonathan [Nelson] and his team at Providence for their support and contributions over the last five years.

"We are a healthier and stronger business because of their investment."