Springboks set for financial windfall after talks with American consortium

Springboks set for financial windfall after talks with American consortium

South African Rugby has issued an update on a possible private equity deal with an American consortium being named as the preferred bidder.

The name of the consortium is Ackerley Sports Group (AS) established by the Ackerley brothers, Ted and Christopher in 2002. The group has been involved in the ownership of several franchises across a variety of sports including basketball, ice hockey and football.

SA Rugby believes the deal could provide important "expertise, networks, and resources necessary to enhance the commercial value of South African rugby". The governing body also underlined that a deal of this nature does not mean the Springboks brand is being sold.

"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," the statement read.

The statement released by SA Rugby also delved into why the ASG was chosen over other groups.

"They were unanimously chosen by the members of SA Rugby - including the franchise-owning unions - at a General Meeting of SA Rugby on 7 December 2023 after ASG, and another bidder, CVC, made presentations to the meeting. ASG™s offer primarily focuses on immediate financial gain and guaranteed income, with lower thresholds for contingency payments, presenting a straightforward proposal for a commercial partnership, which we believe could offer comprehensive advantages to our organisation. The ultimate decision will hinge on balancing the immediate financial requirements with the long-term strategic objectives of our rugby organisation."

Despite the primary conditions being approved the deal is not done with the finer details. It is important to note the deal can only be approved by the 14-member unions of SA Rugby.

Going forward a proposed post-deal structure will be workshopped while it is hoped a conclusive proposal will be presented to member unions at the Annual General Meeting on May 30 where a decision will hopefully be made.

READ MORE: Cheetahs all but confirm Sbu Nkosi signing