HomeAustralia and New ZealandNew Zealand Rugby secures $62.5 Million capital boost with Silver Lake deal expansion

New Zealand Rugby secures $62.5 Million capital boost with Silver Lake deal expansion

New Zealand Rugby secures $62.5 Million capital boost with Silver Lake deal expansion

The board of New Zealand Rugby (NZR), along with its voting members and 26 provincial unions, has unanimously agreed to proceed with a capital raise of NZ$62.5 million through its existing underwrite with private equity firm Silver Lake.

This decision will result in Silver Lake’s stake in NZR’s commercial arm, NZR Commercial, increasing from 5.71 percent to 7.5 percent, while NZR will retain the remaining 92.5 percent equity in the entity.

The development follows NZR’s initial sale of a stake to Silver Lake for NZ$200 million in February, a move that had received approval from the players’ union.

The initial capital infusion has already benefited NZR Commercial and stakeholders, including more than 450 community rugby clubs, contributing to the post-COVID reconstruction of NZR reserves.

In a released statement, NZR acknowledged that although it considered other potential investors for this capital raise, Silver Lake was chosen to “provide certainty”.

The latest capital raise of NZ$62.5 million and the establishment of a Legacy Fund with a committed capital contribution of NZ$60 million were the final two elements approved by NZR’s voting members in June 2022.

The Legacy Fund is being introduced as an endowment fund aimed at furthering the growth and development of rugby, from grassroots to the elite level. It will provide support through annual grants for various community rugby initiatives.

This move aligns with NZR’s intensified focus on commercial initiatives, marked by the recent appointments of Craig Fenton as CEO and Ian Narev as chairman to lead NZR Commercial.

NZR has renewed its longstanding partnership with sportswear giant Adidas and launched NZR+, a globally accessible streaming platform featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes content.

In September, NZR enlisted the services of Endeavor Streaming, a subsidiary of the international entertainment agency giant, to deliver NZR+.

Silver Lake, the private equity firm, boasts investments in various major entities, including the Madison Square Garden Company, owner of NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s New York Rangers, and City Football Group, a collective of soccer clubs led by English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City.

Silver Lake is also a notable investor in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, online retail giant Fanatics, and Endeavor, the former Hollywood talent agency that has evolved into a global entertainment, sports, and content company, owning properties such as the IMG agency and mixed martial arts promotion UFC, among others.

With $90 billion in assets and a portfolio generating over $200 billion annually, Silver Lake continues to solidify its presence in diverse sectors.

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