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Thread: New Zealand Rugby's multi-billion dollar move that could see them leave World Rugby

  1. #1
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    New Zealand Rugby's multi-billion dollar move that could see them leave World Rugby

    From NZ Herald


    New Zealand Rugby has engaged in talks with a multi-billion-dollar American investment firm about taking a stake in the struggling sport.

    In what could prove a landmark moment in the game's long and storied history, NZ Rugby have been wooing private-equity giants Silver Lake with the prospect of adding New Zealand rugby to a sports portfolio that includes global cash machine the UFC.

    Although they remain some way from a deal, it has been described as a seachange attitude for an organisation steeped in tradition and natural conservatism.

    In a reshaped rugby world, the attraction for investors would be the prospect of a club world championship the principal reason key stakeholders have recently taken to unsubtly referring to Super Rugby franchises as "clubs" and the broadcasting and commercial revenue that would spin off that.

    As rugby lurches forward without clear post-pandemic direction, the Herald understands NZR's leaders were so concerned about the game's broken revenue model they held high-level talks with at least two private-equity firms; equity that could potentially give them the leverage to break free from World Rugby's stranglehold.

    One was Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners, which already has a significant stake in Northern Hemisphere rugby, but more intriguing are the talks with technology specialists Silver Lake.

    The firm has offices in New York, Silicon Valley, London and Hong Kong and manages US$40 billion (NZ$60b) in assets, while its portfolio generates more than $200b revenue annually. It established its reputation as a major player with lucrative investments in internet phone provider Skype and chip maker Broadcom.

    More recently, it diversified into the sports and entertainment sector, including global mixed martial arts phenomenon the UFC, Madison Square Garden Company, which owns blue chip NBA franchise the New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers, and City Football Group, whose flagship team is defending English Premier League champions Manchester City.

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  2. #2
    Senior Player
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    Sep 2015
    Ta, X.

    Interesting story. NZ are gonna need someone to play, though, if this were to pan out.

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  3. #3
    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    talks are cheap

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  4. #4
    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Doesnt make it clear how they would "leave" world rugby. Are they gonna join League or force every nation to kickstart a new union not affiliated with World Rugby?

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  5. #5
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    Jul 2006
    Interesting, isn't it? Especially in conjunction with mention of CVC. Australia could well find itself sitting on the kids table, along with all the other minors...

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