Acquisition

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Acquisition - Imperium Sports - Media Releases

Imperium’s newly acquired ‘Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Team’ is the Sporting States only ‘truly International’ Sporting team

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) have today confirmed the sale of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Limited (MRRU) to Imperium Sports Management Pty Ltd (ISM).

ISM will acquire all shares in the MRRU, the company that controls the Melbourne Rebels, from 1 July, 2015.

As part of the Imperium Group, ISM is led by local Melbourne businessman Andrew Cox and former Melbourne Heart Chairman Peter Sidwell. Both Cox and Sidwell bring a unique combination of business and sports administration experience, and have a proven track record of successful transformation of under-performing businesses and brand management.

Speaking on behalf of ISM, Andrew Cox said, “We know Melbourne is the perfect city to have its very own Rugby team. There are over 125 years of Rugby history in this state and the support for the Rebels in just five seasons is extremely encouraging.

“We’re excited about the opportunity we have to re-engage with the Victorian Rugby community and form a deeper connection with our fans by delivering better Rugby experiences at AAMI Park.

“With the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016, we are looking forward to showcasing Melbourne across the world through new markets including Asia and South America.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said, “Throughout the negotiations with the Imperium Group, we have been most impressed with both Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell and their vision for the growth of Rugby in Victoria.
“We, along with the VRU, are pleased that the Rebels’ new owners share the values of the ARU and the Foundation Rebels Shareholders, and will look to continue to strengthen the development of Rugby in Victoria in partnership with the VRU.”

President of the VRU Tim North said, “As a Rugby community we are very fortunate that the new owners of the Rebels are passionate about the VRU’s growth strategies and local pathways.
“Under the sale agreement, the Melbourne Rebels and VRU will continue to operate as separate businesses, although remaining strongly linked to continue to drive the local game for men and women in Club Rugby, Victorian Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) and Rugby Sevens.”

As a result of the transaction, Melbourne Rebels CEO Peter Leahy has stepped aside with Andrew Cox assuming the Managing Director position effective immediately.
MRRU Chairman Jonathan Ling will continue to chair the Melbourne Rebels Advisory Board, along with a number of current MRRU directors.

Today’s announcement comes after a historic year for the Rebels, having recorded more wins in a single season (seven) than ever before.
A number of ‘firsts’ for the Rebels has been achieved along the way, including a first ever overseas victory against the seven-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders in Round One, and five Rebels players have been selected in the Preliminary Qantas Wallabies Squad for The Rugby Championship in July.

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Acquisition - Imperium Sports - Media Releases

ARU CONFIRM SALE OF MELBOURNE REBELS TO IMPERIUM SPORTS MANAGEMENT

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) have today confirmed the sale of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Limited (MRRU) to Imperium Sports Management Pty Ltd (ISM).

ISM will acquire all shares in the MRRU, the company that controls the Melbourne Rebels, from 1 July, 2015.

As part of the Imperium Group, ISM is led by local Melbourne businessman Andrew Cox and former Melbourne Heart Chairman Peter Sidwell. Both Cox and Sidwell bring a unique combination of business and sports administration experience, and have a proven track record of successful transformation of under-performing businesses and brand management.

Speaking on behalf of ISM, Andrew Cox said, “We know Melbourne is the perfect city to have its very own Rugby team. There are over 125 years of Rugby history in this state and the support for the Rebels in just five seasons is extremely encouraging.

“We’re excited about the opportunity we have to re-engage with the Victorian Rugby community and form a deeper connection with our fans by delivering better Rugby experiences at AAMI Park.

“With the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016, we are looking forward to showcasing Melbourne across the world through new markets including Asia and South America.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said, “Throughout the negotiations with the Imperium Group, we have been most impressed with both Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell and their vision for the growth of Rugby in Victoria.

“We, along with the VRU, are pleased that the Rebels’ new owners share the values of the ARU and the Foundation Rebels Shareholders, and will look to continue to strengthen the development of Rugby in Victoria in partnership with the VRU.”

President of the VRU Tim North said, “As a Rugby community we are very fortunate that the new owners of the Rebels are passionate about the VRU’s growth strategies and local pathways.

“Under the sale, the Melbourne Rebels and VRU will continue to operate as separate businesses, although remaining strongly linked to continue to drive the local game for men and women in Club Rugby, Victorian Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) and Rugby Sevens.”

As a result of the transaction, Melbourne Rebels CEO Peter Leahy has stepped aside with Andrew Cox assuming the Managing Director position effective immediately.

MRRU Chairman Jonathan Ling will continue to chair the Melbourne Rebels Advisory Board, along with a number of current MRRU directors.

Today’s announcement comes after a historic year for the Rebels, having recorded more wins in a single season (seven) than ever before.

A number of ‘firsts’ for the Rebels has been achieved along the way, including a first ever overseas victory against the seven-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders in Round One, and five Rebels players being selected in the Preliminary Qantas Wallabies Squad for The Rugby Championship in July.

Imperium Sports Management Ltd owners Andrew Cox and Peter Sidwell will be available for media tomorrow, Friday 19 June from 2:30pm at AAMI Park.

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Acquisition - Imperium Collection - Media Releases

The Imperium Group acquires The Spire Hotel

Imperium Group, owned by Melbourne-based New Zealander Andrew Cox, has acquired the leasehold rights to boutique property The Spire Hotel in Queenstown to expand its hotel interests and take advantage of the global travel market’s growing appetite for luxury boutique accommodation.

The Spire Hotel is located in central Queenstown’s Church Lane and boasts 10 luxury rooms overlooking St Patricks Church with views to Lake Wakatipu. It has an in-house bar and restaurant known as No.5 Church Lane, and Boardroom conferencing facilities.

Imperium owner Andrew Cox says, “The Spire Hotel acquisition is a strategic opportunity to expand the product range of the Imperium Collection in Queenstown.

“The Imperium Collection offers travellers to Queenstown the choice of boutique city style accommodation at The Spire, a traditional luxury experience at Eichardt’s Private Hotel or the exclusivity of the separate Private Residence and Lake Front Apartments all tailored to the high-end luxury traveller. The Imperium Collection now encompasses twenty luxury suites catering to a broad range of tourism and business traveller needs.”

Cox is the owner and operator of the nearby Eichardt’s Private Hotel on the Wakatipu shoreline, and operates a diversified investment group of businesses across Australasia including the Australia and New Zealand TGI Friday’s master franchise, GarageSmart and Wardrobe World home storage solutions, and Australian Graphic Supplies (one of Australia’s largest import distributor of visual and signage graphics consumables and equipment).

The company revealed earlier this year that it is also assessing sites to expand its TGI Friday’s restaurant business into New Zealand, of which there are currently ten in Australia with one under construction.

The acquisition comes at a time of major expansion for the Imperium Group, which has plans to open a luxury boutique hotel similar to the Eichardt’s experience in the tightly held Auckland waterfront area.

“In the North Island we are in discussions with Auckland developers to establish an equally premium and exclusive hotel property on the Auckland Waterfront – a location that is certainly calling out for high end, design-focussed lodging with an emphasis on personalised service,” says Cox.

The recent announcement by Skyline Enterprises of an intended $6 million retail and mixed use development at the existing Eichardt’s Private Hotel signals potential further opportunity for the Imperium Group to expand its hotel operations with the tourism leader. It has been revealed a luxury penthouse apartment with extensive balconies is planned for the top floor of the development.

“It is exciting to see this level of invigoration and activity in New Zealand once again. We are very confident in the New Zealand tourism market and our hotel interests both in Queenstown and Auckland are geared for a long term focus of attracting discerning visitors who demand a premium product,” says Cox.

Suites at The Spire Hotel start from $550 per night, with rates at Eichardt’s Private Hotel starting from $1,250.

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