New Zealand Rugby has bought a 40% stake in the Blues after concerns about the team’s performances in Super Rugby.
The game’s governing body reached an agreement with Bolton Equities Limited (BEL) to take its share on an interim basis following an independent review of the Auckland-based franchise’s governance structure.
The review concluded that the existing shareholding mix is unsustainable and recommended that BEL sell its shares to NZR.
It is thought NZR had concerns over the Blues’ governance as they consistently finished as New Zealand’s worst-performing franchise in Super Rugby.
‘We would like to thank BEL CEO Murray Bolton and his team for their contribution to the Blues over this period,’ NZR chief executive Steve Tew said. ‘A large amount of progress has been made over this time highlighted by the establishment of the Blues’ home base in Epsom, which is as good as any in professional rugby.
‘The review is one of many steps that the Blues have recently taken to help rebuild the success of the franchise. This has included the appointment of Leon MacDonald as assistant coach and Tom Coventry as forwards coach to join head coach Tana Umaga in 2019.
‘There are still several areas in which we need to improve to ensure the success of the Blues and to continue to contribute to the future of rugby in New Zealand.’
NZR will now work with the union’s shareholders to find new investors.
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