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The Hurricanes welcomed new foreign investors.
The Hurricanes welcomed new foreign investors in an effort to expand their brand around the world.
Y11 Sport & Media, a global sports investment group, has acquired a 25% stake in the Hurricanes and Richard Mansell has secured 12.5%, the Wellington-based Super Rugby franchise announced on Wednesday.
Mansell is director of the Horowhenua-Kāpiti Rugby Football Union and general manager of Coastlands Mall.
The completion of the private investment component of the Hurricanes has been confirmed while New Zealand Rugby has yet to complete its multi-million dollar deal with US private equity giant Silver Lake.
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Y11 Sport & Media’s first investment in sport dates back to 2020 with Welsh rugby club Ospreys.
The Hurricanes said one of Y11 Sport & Media’s main goals was to develop the franchise’s intellectual property and focus on global commercial rights outside of New Zealand and Australia.
James Davies-Yandle, chairman and chief executive of Y11, said professional rugby has so much potential.
“The Hurricanes are a massive brand, and we want to further maximize the franchise on a global scale through our management of their global commercial rights,” Davies-Yandle said in a statement.
“With investments coming in at the top of the game through leagues and governing bodies, we have positioned ourselves to invest in the clubs that participate in those leagues and tournaments, where governing bodies want to build [the] operational best practices and competition, as it is the platform for talent to succeed internationally. Our investments in rugby to date complement this strategy.
The Kiwi Super Rugby franchises – the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders – were owned solely by NZ Rugby between 1996 and 2012 and were run by boards of directors made up of representatives from the provincial unions.
This changed in 2012 and the Hurricanes were bought by private investors, as well as the Hurricanes’ Investment Ltd partnership run by the Wellington Rugby Football Union.
Former board member Troy Bowker sold his shares last August, two days after the Hurricanes board met over derogatory remarks he made to the contractor technology Sir Ian Taylor.
Hurricanes chairman Iain Potter said they were delighted to welcome their new investors.
“Y11 are an excellent choice as they share our ambitions and vision, bringing international understanding, expertise and resources that will help propel our club into an exciting new era. We are delighted with the opportunities this partnership will bring,” said Potter in a statement.
“Richard Mansell brings a wealth of business experience and perspective, as well as a genuine passion for rugby, which will be of great benefit to us.”
Mansell said his investment was for his personal enjoyment and interest.
“It reinforces my long-term commitment to the Hurricanes and honors the many games I was able to watch with my late father.”
The Hurricanes are sixth in the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific and play the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday. They recorded a 30-17 win over the Reds in Melbourne last Saturday.