English rugby club Wasps issues bond offering in bid to raise millions for team investment
2 min read
27 April 2015
Aviva Premiership rugby team Wasps, which recently relocated from London to Coventry, was announced it will use the London Stock Exchange to launch a first of its kind for the sports industry – a retail bond.
Offering between £25m and £35m through 6.5 per cent seven-year secured bonds, Wasps will used its recently acquired Ricoh Arena stadium as collateral for the bond.
The details of the bond mean that a minimum initial investment of £2,000 is required, after which bonds can be purchased and old in multiples of £100.
Explaining the decision, Wasps group chief executive David Armstrong said: “The move to the Ricoh Arena was transformational for Wasps and our new home provides us with multiple income streams and the opportunity to create of one of the UK’s premier sport, business and entertainment complexes, while offering sponsors and partners the exciting opportunity to get involved with the new second home of English rugby. This is another step in achieving our aim of creating a long-term sustainable business model.”
If Wasps are successful in raising £35m, the club will become the world’s leading rugby club in terms of turnover. It will also reportedly allow them to compete better with big spending French clubs such as Toulouse, Toulon and State Francais.
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Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live about the move, Armstrong stated that the bond will “restructure the balance sheet” and “put the club on a much firmer financial footing going forward”.
Armstrong also revealed that the club were about to sign a further “marquee” player, alongside future investment in backroom and conditioning staff.
Wasps bought Arena Coventry, which owns the Ricoh Arena, in autumn of 2014 and then moved to the ground in December. Having relocated, attendances for games have tripled while hospitality covers have grown by five times.
Using its new location and better financial footing, the club has also secured sponsorship from the likes of Land Rover and EMC Computer Systems.
Interest on the new bond will be paid semi-annually on 13 November and 13 May ever year, with the investment due to be repaid by 13 May 2022. They will be available to purchase until 6 May 2015.