Silver Lake Gets Players’ Approval For All Blacks Deal

    • Silver Lake received players’ approval to buy a 5.7% stake in New Zealand Rugby.
    • The firm will pay $133 million for convertible preference shares in the governing body’s new commercial entity.

Silver Lake is one step closer to purchasing a stake in a new commercial operations entity for New Zealand Rugby, which would mark the first time the All Blacks rugby team is not solely owned by New Zealanders.

The firm received approval from the players to buy a 5.7% stake in convertible preference shares for $133 million in NZR CommercialCo, the new division housing all revenue-generating assets of the governing body. Previous reports revealed Silver Lake offered $279 million for a 12.5% stake, but the players union opposed the deal.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with a lot of different parties in the last 12-to-14 months and now have the confidence to move forward,” NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

Upon approval from the 26 provincial unions and Māori Rugby Board, NZR CommercialCo could reach an estimated $2.3 billion valuation.

  • An additional co-investment of up to $67 million will be offered to domestic investors later in the year.
  • Silver Lake, NZR, and its players association will invest in international rugby-related businesses through the creation of Global Rugby Opportunities. NZR and NZRPA will earn a 15% share of its profits.

Rugby’s Revenue 

NZR and the NZRPA also agreed to a new bargaining agreement including governing of the relationships between the pair and NZR CommercialCo, as well as continuing the duo’s current revenue-sharing deal.

Silver Lake could end up owning as much as 8.6% of the company’s equity.