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Volume 6 No. 235

Finance

Auckland businessman Paul Davys is offering around NZ$15M ($11M) to buy National Rugby League side New Zealand Warriors, but current Owner Eric Watson "wants at least" NZ$20M ($14.6M), according to David Skipwith of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement by the end of the week, "the deal could be dead in the water." Davys has given Watson a deadline of Friday but a deal is "still some way off," while Watson is also in discussions "with at least two other parties keen on buying the club." Watson, however, will not be "rushed into selling." Meanwhile, the "swirling speculation" around the future owner of the club is "already having a negative impact on plans around player recruitment and sponsorship for next season." It is unclear whether Davys would want Warriors coach Stephen Kearney to remain in his job and if a "potential change in ownership will lead to a dramatic overhaul of the club's wider football staff and executive management team." Davys dismissed reports that former Warriors coach and "disgraced" former Parramatta Eels Head of Football Daniel Anderson is connected to his bid to buy the club as "absolute rubbish." Anderson was one of five key Eels officials "deregistered by the NRL for their involvement in the salary cap scandal that engulfed the club last year" (NZ HERALD, 8/16).

Seven West Media's profit has fallen by 19.5% to A$166.8M ($131.6M) "as a weak advertising market rocks its print businesses and 'hinders' the performance of its Olympic Games coverage," according to Arvind Hickman of AD NEWS. The group's revenues declined 2.8% to A$1.68B ($1.33B), "largely due to drops in The West and Pacific Magazines." Seven booked a A$745M ($587.7M) loss due to A$989M ($780.2M) in "impairment charges as the business revised future growth assumptions across the group," such as the value of its TV license. Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner forfeited his bonus, saying, "It hasn't been a stellar year for the company." TV was the "strongest performing division," with Seven's revenues up by 1% to A$1.18B ($930.9M) in a "challenging advertising market that has declined by about 2.7% in the past year." However, the cost of covering the 2016 Rio Games "dented Seven's profitability." TV earnings dropped 14.4% to A$249.7M ($197M) due to a A$64M ($50.5M) "lift in costs." Seven Studios, which produces and distributes TV shows abroad, grew revenues by 11% to A$97.3M ($76.7M) (AD NEWS, 8/16).

Premier League clubs are "facing demands for ever higher transfer fees and for players' wages to be paid in euros because of the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote." As sterling fell this week to its "lowest value since Britain emerged from the financial crash," the consequences for top-flight clubs have been "laid bare by the ongoing haggling" over the future of Eredivisie side Ajax's Davinson Sánchez. Ajax has reportedly been insisting on increasing its asking price to "reflect the day-by-day fall in the value of the pound" (London GUARDIAN, 8/16).

A A$20M ($15.8M) package from the Victorian government to the Australian Rugby Union, securing Bledisloe Cup and British & Irish Lions Test matches in Melbourne "over an eight-to-10-year period, guaranteed the future" of the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby. The protracted negotiations between the Victorian government and the ARU, resulting in "approximately one-quarter of the funding" being passed on to the Rebels, ensured the team "would always be chosen by the ARU," ahead of Perth's Western Force, as the Australian team to be retained (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/16).

Highland Hospice, a charity that offers care to people dying from incurable diseases, sold its stake in Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The charity was given half a million shares --"a 19% holding worth hundreds of thousands of pounds" -- by an anonymous donor as a gift last year. Alan Savage, Iain McGilvray and Dougie McGilvray "each purchased one third of the hospice's shareholding" in the club (BBC, 8/16).