Forsyth Barr reckons Kiwis would jump at the chance to buy rugby shares

Forsyth Barr has recommended an alternative for NZ Rugby. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Investment company Forsyth Barr has suggested New Zealand Rugby could sell 5 per cent of its commercial operations on the NZX in an initial public offering (IPO).

Here’s why and how it might work.

NZ Rugby has proposed selling 12.5 per cent of its revenue stream to American private equity firm Silver Lake to bring in cash and help grow the business.

The players union is opposed to this. It doesn’t want overseas ownership and does not agree with the revenue-sharing model because it means Silver Lake would effectively be skimming funds off the top line, sharing in the revenue but not in the costs.

NZ Rugby says Silver Lake would bring in expertise to help grow the business, but the players say New Zealand could also tap into expertise to do this without Silver Lake.

Why this proposal?

Former All Black World Cup winning captain David Kirk is chairman of the players union. He’s also a prominent businessman and is chairman of Forsyth Barr.

This connection has led to Forsyth Barr putting forward an alternative proposal for NZ Rugby to sell a 5 per cent slice of the company to the New Zealand public, via a share market IPO.

Forsyth Barr says the proposal is “a highly viable opportunity” for NZ Rugby and would ensure New Zealand rugby remains firmly in the control of New Zealanders and provide an opportunity for all New Zealanders to own a slice of New Zealand rugby.


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