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CVC deal will be a 'game changer' claim SA Rugby

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Getty Images)

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SA Rugby have described its impending private equity deal with CVC as ‘game changing’.

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CVC – who have already secured stakes in the Guinness Six Nations, Gallagher Premiership and URC – are ironing out a similar deal to procure a percentage of SA Rugby’s commercial business.

Springboks president Mark Alexander – who was re-elected today [Friday, 29 April] – says completion of the deal with the private equity firm will put the union on a surer financial footing. Alexander was elected to the role which he first took up in October, 2016 when his predecessor, Oregan Hoskins, stepped down.  He beat off the bid of Mbulelo Gidane, the vice president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.

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Alexander says the completion of the private equity transaction as one of his key priorities, a deal branded  ‘game changing for the sport’.

“Such a transaction will provide external capital to invest in our objectives and put SARU in a stronger financial position for the immediate and longer term,” he said.

“It will allow us to accelerate our digital plans, place SA Rugby firmly in the global market and provide a reserves capacity to weather future pandemics.”

Mr Alexander added that it would also allow SA Rugby to associate its teams and events with the top brands in the world, allowing the organization to maximize revenue streams in the best rugby markets across the world through commercial collaboration.

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“We are still in recovery from the impact of the pandemic, and the global financial crisis before it, and we have immediate short-term challenges,” he said.

“But there are great opportunities and exciting times ahead for our sport and for South African rugby if we stayed focused on delivering on our mandate.”

The South African deal is the latest major private equity move into rugby, with NZR having sold a minority holding to Silver Lake for NZD$200 million.

The NZR were met with sizable opposition to Silver Lake deal, not least from former players who were reticent to ‘sell the All Blacks‘.

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