He started buying shares of ManU in November 2012, when they were trading under $13 each. Over time as the stock fluctuated he amassed 16.1 million shares for a total cost of $253 million. Based on Monday's close of $16.33 a share, his ManU stake was valued at nearly $264 million.
When he started buying the company, it was doing about "$600 million in revenues and making $150 million a year."
"We think in five or six years," he continued, "they'll make $1 billion [or] $1.1 billion [in revenue] and they'll do about $400 million or $500 million in cash flow … and the stock will be trading at $40."
Manchester United of the English premier league is one of the most popular soccer clubs in the world. But Baron doesn't see the value of the stock as just the team. "As opposed to people thinking about it as a rich man's toy, we think about it as a television program."
Comparing the viewership for a ManU game to that of the Super Bowl in the U.S., which drew 114 million viewers this year, he said ManU does about "40 games a year, where each of those games has viewers of 40 million people."
He said the value of live sports is watching the games as they happen, not viewing them after the fact on DVR, the way many programs are consumed nowadays. ManU is also taking advantage of its huge social media presence: nearly 5.3 million Twitter followers and 65 million likes for its Facebook page compared with the New York Yankees 1.4 million Twitter followers and 8.3 million likes on Facebook.
With $27.5 billion in assets under management, Baron Capital manages 13 mutual funds with investments in about 450 companies.