US fund invests in New Zealand rugby
Then institutional investors will be able to inject 59 million more during a second phase later this year, NZR having to retain around 90% of the capital of the new entity.
The objective of the New Zealand federation is to be able to invest money in priorities such as women’s rugby and regional rugby, while creating a heritage fund to ensure the long-term financial stability of the federation, which is often in deficit ( 20 million euros in losses in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic).
The country’s players’ union (NZRPA) had threatened to veto it. NZRPA chairman David Kirk said last year he feared the souls of the All Blacks would be sacrificed to commercial interests but changed his mind. According to him, « the agreement brings capital on sound economic bases and Silver Lake will be able to develop new possibilities of growth ».
New broadcasting rights
Silver Lake will therefore hold part of the commercial rights of NZR and will be responsible in particular for negotiating new broadcasting rights or selling derivative products worldwide. “We look forward to bringing our global network and resources to help New Zealand Rugby drive innovation and capitalize on future opportunities,” said the Silver Lake Managing Director.
At the heart of this partnership are of course the All Blacks, three times world champions, recognized as the absolute reference of world rugby. The deal gives New Zealand rugby a commercial value of €2 billion. Silver Lake originally sought to own 12.5% of the business entity but the players’ union feared that share would give them too much power.
Silver Lake recently diversified its activities by taking 18 months ago 10% of the City Football Group, which notably owns the Manchester City club.