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Leicester Tigers put up for sale

By Tom Walker    26 Jun 2019
The club has already received a number of enquiries from potential new owners
Tigers is the most successful club of the professional era, winning more titles than any other English team
– Simon Cohen

One of England's most successful rugby clubs, Leicester Tigers, has been put up for sale.

Simon Cohen, Leicester Tigers CEO revealed plans for the sale of the club alongside a full strategic review as part of long-term plans to reclaim its status as a force in English and European rugby.

Tigers, who have won 10 Premiership titles and two European Cups, dominated professional rugby for more than a decade, including a run of nine trophies in 10 years between 1993 and 2002.

Its last domestic title, however, is from 2013 and the club battled to avoid relegation last season.

According to Cohen, the club has received a number of enquiries from potential new owners since CVC Capital Partners acquired a 27 per cent stake in Premiership Rugby last year.

The CVC deal was seen as the "start of a new era for English professional club rugby", valuing the competition at around £800m.

CVC intends to develop the sport, repeating the success it has had in raising the profile of Formula One and Moto GP.

"CVC’s investment sparked several expressions of interest in the Tigers from new investors, prompting the Board to run a formal sale process in the best interests of the club, its players, supporters and shareholders," Cohen said.

"Tigers is the most successful club of the professional era, winning more titles than any other English team. The club’s games are the most-watched and best-attended in English rugby and the club has a 90-per-cent season ticket renewal rate. The club is ideally positioned to capitalise on the new investment coming into the game.

"The pay-out to Tigers from the Premiership Rugby stake sale to CVC means the club has no net debt and can look forward to greater incremental revenues as CVC’s marketing and commercial strategy gathers momentum and grows the game.

"This makes the Tigers an attractive opportunity for an investor that shares the Club’s vision, with the ability to grow commercial revenues and accelerate development plans to the benefit of players, staff and fans."

Peter Tom CBE, Leicester Tigers chair, added: “CVC’s investment in Premiership Rugby has created a unique opportunity – catapulting the sport into the public consciousness like never before and broadening its appeal to potential investors.

"It is our duty as a Board to explore the Club’s strategic options and assess the best possible ownership structure to benefit from the changes ahead on and off the pitch.”

It is believed that the club will be listening to offers of around £60m.

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