Rugby: Provinces remain committed to controversial NZ Rugby-Silver Lake deal

  • 20/05/2021


The country's 26 provincial unions remain committed to NZ Rugby's deal with US private equity firm Silver Lake.

In a statement released on behalf of the unions, Auckland Rugby chair Stu Mather reaffirmed their support of the $390 million deal for Silver Lake to buy a 12.5 percent stake in game here, which has led to a bitter dispute with the Players Association.

The comments come after the Players Association proposed an alternative deal to Silver Lake - a public share float of five percent of NZR's commercial revenue, which investment company Forsyth Barr suggests could raise $190 million.

"The Provincial Unions have been supportive of NZR exploring all options to ensure the games long term financial viability, including an Initial Public Offering (IPO) option," says Mather.

"The proposed Silver Lake deal stood out, as it meets all of the objectives - strategic capability, enhances growth and takes advantage of global revenue opportunities, helps build a legacy for rugby with the establishment of a legacy fund that will grow to over $200m in the next couple of years, boosts NZR reserves through a cash injection and provides a funding distribution to stakeholders."

Mather says the provinces had accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper carry out an independent review of the Silver Lake proposal in March, before they unanimously approved it at NZR's recent annual meeting.

"At the request of the provincial unions, an independent review was conducted by PWC and a comprehensive document presented at a workshop held in March to present on its findings.

"The proposed transaction document was also reviewed by Simpson Grierson prior to the AGM.

"Prior to the vote at the AGM, NZR ran a robust consultation process, which spanned a number of months, with considerable information provided during due diligence."