The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) today confirmed they have entered into an exclusive Heads of Agreement with Imperium Group (ICG), a Melbourne-based investment company, to acquire all shares in the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Limited, the company that controls the Melbourne Rebels.
Commenting on the potential transaction, ARU CEO, Bill Pulver said, “We’ve been discussing the sale of the Melbourne Rebels to ICG in recent months and we’re pleased to have reached agreement on the key terms of the deal.”
“We are now progressing legal documentation and detailed due diligence is underway to finalise the transaction. We expect a formal transfer of the company will be completed by 30 June 2015.
“We’re confident the proposed new ownership structure will strengthen the club, with the prospective owners committed to ensure the Melbourne Rebels can build on the on-field momentum of recent seasons and grow Rugby in Victoria more generally.”
Melbourne Rebels Chairman, Jonathan Ling, said, “This transaction when completed will secure the financial future of the Club. Our CEO, Peter Leahy, was charged by the Board to bring stability and certainty to the Club’s future on and off the field, and in entering into an agreement with the ICG he has delivered just that.
“While this is very good news for the Club, our business partners, our fans and members, right now it’s business as usual, with our focus firmly on supporting the Rebels in their quest to be the best they can in the Asteron Life Super Rugby competition and make Melbourne truly proud.”
Under the proposed sale, the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union and Victorian Rugby Union would continue to operate as separate businesses, while working together to grow Rugby in Victoria.
The Melbourne Rebels have recorded more wins in a single season (six) than ever before, with five matches remaining in the regular season.
The ARU, VRU and ICG will not make any further comment until the pending transaction is completed.