Blues go 'private'

Fri, 17 May 2013 10:47
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The licence to operate the Blues Super Rugby franchise has been partially sold-off to a private investment firm, the New Zealand Rugby Union said on Friday.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the deal, which involves Auckland-based Bolton Equities taking a 40 percent stake in the three-time champions' operations, was part of a plan to improve New Zealand team's finances.

"With fresh thinking and new capital we believe the Blues will be better equipped to face the challenges ahead," he said in a statement.

It is the latest in a series of moves by the NZRU to improve its finances, including a deal unveiled last year for the All Blacks to wear a sponsor's logo on their jerseys for only the second time in their 108-year history.

The Hurricanes and Crusaders agreed to similar deals last year.

The NZRU said progress was being made on finding an investor for defending Super Rugby champions the Chiefs.

New Zealand's only other Super Rugby side, the financially struggling Highlanders, was not included in the sale process.