The All Blacks perform the haka at the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Picture: WORLD RUGBY HANDOUT/GETTY IMAGES
The All Blacks perform the haka at the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Picture: WORLD RUGBY HANDOUT/GETTY IMAGES

Sydney  — US private equity firm Silver Lake is in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in the commercial activities of New Zealand Rugby, home of the All Blacks team, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed.

The talks with Silver Lake were first reported by Sky News, which said the deal for a 15% stake would value the team at about $2bn. Sky said a deal had not been concluded, but could be announced as soon as January.

An investment in one of the most famous brands in world sport would expand the buyout company's $75bn portfolio of companies, most of which are technology and sports venues and teams, according to its website.

Representatives from Silver Lake declined to comment.

Charlotte McLauchlan, director of communications for New Zealand Rugby, said the organisation was “on a path to look at what an investor partner for New Zealand Rugby might look like, which is a very exciting prospect for us.”

She declined to comment any further.

In 2020, New Zealand Rugby launched a review into how the game in the rugby-mad country is run and financed, saying it could include private equity investments.

A year earlier, California-based Silver Lake acquired a 10% stake in City Football Group, which owns reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City and teams in the US, Australia and China.

Reuters 

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.