Cologne (SID) – The financially troubled New Zealand Rugby Federation is looking to sell shares of its famous national team “All Blacks” to an American investor. California-based company “Silver Lake Partners” is showing interest with a deal worth $280 million, which aims to acquire 12.5 percent of New Zealand Rugby’s commercial rights. However, the project has faced considerable resistance from rugby’s top professionals and the New Zealand players’ union RPA.
“We believe this is an exciting and truly transformative opportunity that will benefit all sports for generations to come,” said New Zealand Rugby Federation President Mark Robinson. The deal aims to rehabilitate the association, which has been financially hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and which, according to Robinson, “fought for survival”.
The so-called “All Blacks” are the best-known brand in rugby and are three-time Rugby World Champions. Critics of the deal point to a similar example in football to the European Super League, showing that American investors are more interested in money than traditions in the sport. The company “Silver Lake” has since 2019 owned ten percent of City Football Group, which owns Premier League table leaders Manchester City.
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