NZ Rugby okays sale of All Blacks brand stake

Rugby's legendary All Blacks are up for sale, sort of.

New Zealand Rugby on Thursday (April 29) approved selling a minority stake in its commercial arm to private equity outfit Silver Lake.

Under the proposed deal the U.S. firm would get 12.5% of the commercial rights, including the All Blacks brand, for just over $281 million.

That values the rights at over $2.2 billion.

NZ Rugby chief Mark Robinson said it was welcome news after the body lost 60% of its revenue during last year's lockdowns.

But fans and players may be harder to convince.

The New Zealand Rugby Players' Association said in January that it would oppose the sale.

It expressed concerns over a loss of control, and the risk of 'cultural misappropriation'.

Some fans in the rugby-mad country have also said they're worried about foreign control.

But others said the deal would be welcome if the money was well used.