Premiership club Leicester pulls plug on sale process
NEWS: Leicester Tigers are no longer up for sale after the club pulled the plug on the process due to a lack of offers.
It was June last year, on the back of the dividend received by CVC Capital Partners buy into the Gallagher Premiership, that the club was put on the market in the hope that a potential £60million sale could help the Tigers return to the top of English rugby again.
At the time, the CVC pay-out had left Tigers debt-free and club officials believed their set-up was now an attractive opportunity for an investor to grow commercial revenues and accelerate development plans.
*Also read: Premiership Leicester up for sale
However, those aspirations have not come to pass in the nine months since, resulting in Leicester’s Wednesday morning announcement via their website that the club was now off the market and instead some new appointments had been made to the board.
“The board of Leicester Tigers confirms that the formal sale process initiated on June 25, 2019, under the city code on takeovers and mergers, has now ended and the company is no longer in an offer period as defined under the code,” read their announcement on leicestertigers.com.
“Despite a high level of interest from potential new investors, the board has concluded that it is unlikely an offer for the company will materialise from an investor who shares the club’s vision of the future and at a value attractive to shareholders.
“The board has made a number of appointments to ensure it has the necessary mix of skills and experience in order to implement its strategy for the club. It is delighted to announce the appointments of Fintan Kennedy and Duncan Green as non-executive directors.
“Taken together, the impact on an uncertain market of Brexit and now Covid-19 have created significant challenges for all clubs this season.
“Given its status as the country’s premier rugby club in terms of supporter base and track record, the board is optimistic that its strategy for the club will return it to the top of the English and European game as rugby attracts new audiences and explores exciting new opportunities.”
Executive chairman Peter Tom said: “While we were pleased with the level of interest in the club, none of the prospective new investors were judged to fulfil our criteria.
“Now our immediate focus is on managing the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and doing all we can to safeguard the wellbeing of Tigers staff, players and fans.
“It nonetheless remains the case that attractive growth opportunities are within English rugby’s grasp and will benefit clubs, players and fans alike.
“We have devoted considerable energy to improvements on and off the field and remain confident that we have the right long-term strategy for the club.”
Kennedy brings a wide range of finance experience and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He currently serves as finance director of Sealyham Investments and holds non-executive directorships with Super League Triathlon and the Financial Services Opportunities Investment Fund. He will chair the audit committee.
Green is managing partner of Pick Everard, which he joined in 1983. A chartered civil engineer, he is also a trustee and director of the Leicester Grammar School Trust, local charity Hope Against Cancer and a member of the Leicester Cathedral development board.