Not For Sale – SA Rugby!

Private equity conversations confirmed

Rugby governing body, SA Rugby has confirmed that it is seeking investment from private equity companies, but has stressed that the Springboks are not for sale.

According to reports the San Francisco-based Ackerley Sports Group are the front-runners to invest in the commercial activities of SA Rugby, a move which will be highly beneficial according to a statement from SA Rugby.

General views of south African players during the Rugby World Cup 2023 (Pic – Steve Haag Sports)

“A private equity partnership offers not just an immediate financial boost but also crucially provides the expertise, networks, and resources necessary to enhance the commercial value of South African rugby.

“This collaboration can position SA Rugby, the Springboks and, eventually, other teams for greater global prominence,” read a SA Rugby statement released on Wednesday.

Asked directly by some of the URC franchises if the Springboks were essentially being sold, SA Rugby answered: “The Springboks and all national teams will retain their existing management and ownership models.

“As national institutions, the Springboks and SA Rugby are not transferable to private equity.

“This strategy is about harnessing our commercial rights in partnership with an organisation, creating a separate entity dedicated to elevating our commercial profile,” they said.

Favourites in the investment process, Ackerley Sports Group, are owners or co-owners of several professional sports franchises in American basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and rugby, as well as of Leeds United Football Club.

SA Rugby stressed that the deal was not yet signed off, but added that once it was it would be in the best interests of the game in South Africa.

 

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