Rugby Australia (RA) has successfully concluded its capital raise programme by attracting Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) as a key investor.
The agreement has been reached after an extensive review period for the RA of alternative capital-raising options, where the organisation’s Board, advised by Jefferies Australia, concluded that “refinancing and an increase to its credit facility on more attractive terms was in the best interests of all stakeholders”.
PEP will ensure the provision of an upsized AUS$80m (£42m) credit facility for the RA across a five-year period, which in terms will help the premier rugby union operator achieve its growth initiatives in between the British & Irish Lions Tour in 2025 and the 2027 and 2029 Rugby World Cups taking place in Australia.
RA CEO Phil Waugh commented: “RA has been assessing various capital raise alternatives with Jefferies Australia for more than a year.
“Given the visibility we have on revenues from the British & Irish Lions and World Cups, it became clear that debt capital was going to be the best solution for Rugby. This does not compromise RA’s options down the road, which could include private equity investment.
“This approach ensures that we retain 100% of the commercial revenues from the game, that all capital raised will go into the game, and that RA controls its own direction during this next period of growth and development.
“We plan to invest in the critical areas needed to grow the game – we have identified high-performance integration, Women’s Rugby, Community and Pathways as critical areas to focus on, and I believe investment in these areas will give us the opportunity to capitalise on the exciting major events on the horizon.
“In PEP, we have selected a partner committed to helping us on this path – they are likewise excited about this next chapter for Rugby in Australia and support our vision and plan. They bring deep experience across different sectors, and investment types, including private equity and debt, and we look forward to working with them.
“I would also like to recognise the professionalism of the PEP team throughout this process. I believe together we have achieved a very positive result for the game.”