Rugby Australia finalises capital raise

Fri, Nov 24, 2023, 4:38 AM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia (RA) has today announced the successful conclusion of its capital raise programme with its entry into an agreement with Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) that will underpin investment across the game of Rugby.

Following a comprehensive assessment of alternative capital-raising options, RA management and the Board, with the support of financial advisor Jefferies Australia, concluded that refinancing and an increase to its credit facility on more attractive terms was in the best interests of all stakeholders.

With the revenues expected from the British & Irish Lions Tour in 2025 and home Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029, this new upsized and flexible $80m credit facility on a five-year term, will bridge the period through those events, allowing RA to accelerate its key growth initiatives.

The additional investment will go to critical areas of the game’s development, with high-performance integration, Women’s Rugby, Community and Pathways being areas of focus.

PEP is an Australian-based private capital partner that understands the importance of Rugby in Australia, and the potential for growth in the coming years. It is one of the largest and most active private market investors in Australia with approximately $8 billion in assets under management.

RA CEO Phil Waugh believes pursuing a debt capital path was the right decision for Rugby in Australia and notes this injection will help set the game up for the future.

“RA has been assessing various capital raise alternatives with Jefferies Australia for more than a year,” he said.

“Given the visibility we have on revenues from the British and 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.”