NZR is still hoping for the Silver Lake deal and has other revenue opportunities in mind

Dec. 16 (Reuters) – New Zealand rugby (NZR) is still hoping to finalize its proposed deal with U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake, but will also aim to generate revenue from other investment opportunities, CEO Mark Robinson said on Thursday.

In April, 26 provincial rugby constituent unions approved the sale of 12.5% ​​of the shares in NZR’s commercial arm, including the rights to the All Blacks, to Silver Lake for NZ $ 387.5 million U.S. dollar).

But New Zealand’s Rugby Players Association (NZRPA), whose approval is required, rejected the deal and proposed selling a 5% stake through an IPO on the country’s stock exchange.

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Robinson said NZR will meet with the players’ bodies next week.

“To be clear, this means we will continue to work with the RPA, our stakeholders and Silver Lake around the Silver Lake deal,” said Robinson.

“But in parallel with that, we’re going to get moving now and take some real action to increase the revenue opportunities we believe are NZ rugby globally and domestically.”

Robinson said Silver Lake was “incredibly supportive” of their approach.

“They will provide some guidance and insight as we move this work forward in our own organization,” said Robinson.

“And that’s a strong sign, in addition to the patience you have shown over the past few months, that we believe that we will hopefully come to a deal at some point, but in the meantime we will not lose any ground in moving this area forward . “

Robinson said NZR could break even financial results for 2021, as opposed to 2020, where they lost around 60% of their revenues during the COVID-19 shutdown, adding to an operating loss of NZ $ 18.7 million has.

Silver Lake on Tuesday acquired a minority stake in the Australian Professional League, which runs Australia’s high-profile men’s and women’s football leagues.

($ 1 = 1.4795 New Zealand dollars)

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Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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