Breakers owners seek new investors to take club to 'next level'

  • 14/11/2017

Breakers owners Paul and Liz Blackwell will relinquish their controlling stake in order to bring new investors, the Auckland-based Australian NBL club confirmed on Tuesday.

The Blackwells said they felt it was time for someone else or another group to take the club to another level.

"We have owned the club now for 13 years, and it's become apparent for us that it's the right time for new investors to take the club forward," Paul Blackwell said.

He said the NBL was growing rapidly in competitiveness and commercialism, opening new doors and new opportunities.

"We realise our skill set in growing culture and community needs to be supplemented with strong commercial nous."

This season would be the Blackwells' last at the Breakers' helm, he said.

"This means selling our controlling stake in the club to the right investors, who can bring capital and renewed vigour to ensure the Breakers' ongoing success."

The Breakers have won the NBL title four times, including a three-year-streak from 2010-13.

They were runners up in 2016, but last season finished fifth in the eight-team competition.

The Breakers currently lead the competition, winning eight straight games after losing their first match of the new season.

Their most recent victory was an 88-82 win over nearest rivals Perth Wildcats in Perth, three days after beating them 88-84 in Auckland.

Mr Blackwell said the Breakers had been challenged by the NBL to grow in the commercial arena.

"It's a skill set we don't really possess, and the leadership for Dillon and the organisation, and we think that's needed now. Without us stepping aside, we'll limit the opportunity.

"We understand our limits - we're really clear on where we're good, therefore we also understand where we're not so good."

Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher said the Blackwells had made a huge contribution to the club.

"I want to acknowledge the passion, the commitment and the leadership of the Blackwells and all that the club's achieved during their time," he said.

Boucher said the NBL had seen significant growth in television and game attendance.

"As a league, it's the fastest growing sport in New Zealand, and now is the perfect time for new investors to capitalise on these opportunities."