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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Rugby’s Top Brand Explores Value in Stake Sale

  • New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team is exploring a stake sale.
  • The club previously sold a 5.7% stake to private equity firm Silver Lake.
All Blacks hooker Dane Coles scores a goal during the 1874 Cup Rugby Autumn Internationals rugby match at FedEx Field featuring the New Zealand All Blacks vs the USA Eagles.
Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

New Zealand Rugby is gauging the power of its brand as it seeks investors.

The iconic All Blacks, likely the most revered rugby team worldwide, is looking to sell a stake in their commercial operations worth around $62 million.

NZR Commercial CEO Richard Thomas said he would meet with investors over the next few months “to understand if there is an appetite in the institutions in New Zealand to do it. Once that’s known, we’ll know whether we’re going through with that institutional raise or not.”

The club had to navigate fan and player resistance to outside investors when it sold a 5.7% stake last year to private equity firm Silver Lake for $124.9 million. The deal, which valued NZR at $2.2 billion, was opposed by New Zealand’s Rugby Players Association.

NZR plans to use the investments to amplify the All Blacks brand and earning power and grow the game at all levels in New Zealand.

A Major League Rugby player dives to score a try during a match.

Major League Rugby Reportedly Seeking $100M Investment

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Rugby World Cup Rights 

Meanwhile, the Rugby World Cup, which takes place in September in France, is finding buyers for its media rights. 

Public broadcaster RTE and Virgin Media acquired the rights to the tournament in Ireland last week.

Rights in Japan were sold last month to NHK, Nippon TV, and J Sports, which held those rights for the previous World Cup in 2019.

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