Taranaki join forces with Chiefs

Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:14
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Taranaki have ended a 17-year alliance with the Hurricanes and switched allegiance to the Super Rugby champion Chiefs.

Taranaki have ended a 17-year alliance with the Hurricanes and switched allegiance to the Super Rugby champion Chiefs.

The Taranaki Rugby Union is among a group of private investors and five other provincial unions granted a seven-year licence by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The new organisation will be known as Chiefs Rugby Club Limited Partnership.

The introduction of Taranaki will bolster the playing strength within the region and provide new commercial growth and fan engagement opportunities for the Chiefs as it will include the allocation of two competition games in 2014 and 2015 at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.  

Waikato Stadium will continue to host a minimum of five home games per year. In 2014, six competition games will be played in Hamilton.

Game allocation in 2015 and beyond will be made on a year by year basis. Pre-season matches will continue to be spread around the region as part of the Chiefs desire to engage its fan base. Rotorua International Stadium will host the Blues pre-season match on February 14.    

As part of their community programme since assembling on November 28, the squad have already visited Thames, Whangamata, Tairua, Waihi, Mercury Bay and Te Aroha with many other community engagements planned.  

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said: “It is great to have our provincial unions involved as part of our investor group and with Taranaki joining us, we look forward to embracing the fans in one of New Zealand’s most passionate rugby communities.”  

The $3.3 million investment into the Chiefs Rugby Club has been made by the Counties Manukau, Waikato, Thames Valley, Bay of Plenty, King Country and Taranaki Provincial Unions who jointly make up 50 percent of the capital investment, and a number of private investors who contributed the other 50%.

Chiefs Chairman Dallas Fisher said: “It has been a significant project over the last nine months to pull together the commercial structures required to provide an outcome that is extremely robust, sustainable and will provide an exciting future for the Chiefs Rugby Club going forward.

“We acknowledge the contribution of all private and rugby investors who are all highly committed to a new and exciting era for the Chiefs. We now have the ability to invest in the future and continue to develop the Chiefs Rugby Club while providing resources to ensure our organisation continues to be world class.”

Business capital will be deployed to a number of investment projects including the purchase of strength and conditioning equipment, rehabilitation systems and enhancement of the outside training facilities. There will also be further investments into commercial growth.  

An Establishment Board has been set up. This Board will be responsible for the process of appointing the new board of seven members which will be comprised of five independent directors and two investor appointees. This process is expected to take two months.

The capital investment breakdown is as follows:

Provincial Unions:                   

Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union: 11.55%
Waikato Rugby Union: 11.55%
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union: 11.55%
Taranaki Rugby Football Union: 11.55%
Thames Valley Rugby Football Union: 1.9%
King Country Rugby Football Union: 1.9%

Private Investors:

Waikato Syndicate: 24.93%
Taranaki Syndicate: 11.18%
Private investor: 13.89%

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