New Zealand Rugby signs £ 202m deal with US private equity firm | Rugby News


Dealing with US private equity firm Silver Lake includes All Blacks

New Zealand’s 26 county federations have unanimously agreed to sell a 12.5 percent stake in New Zealand Rugby’s trading arm (NZR), including the All Blacks team, to US venture capital firm Silver Lake.

The deal, worth NZ $ 387.5 million (£ 202 million), which estimates New Zealand’s trade rights at $ 2.23 billion (£ 1.6 billion), has yet to be approved by the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA), which has expressed reservations about the deal.

The capital deal means that for the first time in over 115 years, the All Blacks will not be fully owned by New Zealanders.

“We are delighted that our county unions … have recognized the importance of private equity in generating commercial income and enabling investment to ensure rugby continues to thrive in the future,” said outgoing NZR President Brent Embie.

“Today’s vote for Silver Lake is a transformative opportunity in our game that we must seize.”

NZR, which also announced an operating loss of NZ $ 18.7 million (£ 9.8 million) at its annual general meeting Thursday, pledged to grassroots rugby as a cash boon if the Silver Lake deal is reached.

NZRPA, with support from All Blacks Team Leader Sam Cane, wrote to NZR in January to say it would block the sale, citing concerns about a loss of control and the risk of “illegal cultural appropriation,” according to the reports.

NZRPA CEO Rob Nicole said Thursday that the union had suspended negotiations with NZR “for a few weeks”.

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We must decide what is collective [agreement] It will look beyond this year for players to respond to NZR’s request to agree to the proposed Silver Lake deal.

Imbi said it was disappointing that the players’ union had not approved the deal.

New Zealand captain Sam Kanye was among those expressing concerns about the deal

New Zealand captain Sam Kanye was among those expressing concerns about the deal

“The game has to be changed, and the capital injection from Silver Lakes will allow us to rethink rugby and invest in the areas of community game that are so badly needed,” he added.

“Players are a vital part of this journey … We hope NZRPA recognizes the importance of the opportunity ahead of us and will continue working to hammer out a deal in the coming weeks.”

Silver Lake invests primarily in technology companies and has more than $ 79 billion (£ 57 billion) in assets under management.

In 2019, he paid $ 500 million for a 10% stake in City Football Group, which owns Manchester City and other teams around the world.

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