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Auckland Rugby League takes on New Zealand Warriors ownership
After months of speculation, it has been announced that the New Zealand Warriors has been sold to an arm of their original owners, the Auckland Rugby League.
The sales of the NRL club to the Carlaw Heritage Trust and a financial backer, Autex Industries, ends 17 years of ownership of the club by businessman Eric Watson.
The announcement follows months of speculation, with Watson having previously spurned the advances of the ARL and gone close to accepting an offer from a United States consortium.
Speaking about the sale, Watson advised “it is particularly pleasing to see the club formally become part of rugby league's local governing body and administrator.”
The ARL has been the governing body and administrator of rugby league across the Auckland region since 1909. It was owner of the Warriors for their first three seasons, having joined what was then the Winfield Cup in 1995.
The change of ownership brings with it a change of board members with Chairman Jim Doyle and all fellow directors other than Chief Executive Cameron George stepping down and the new owner appointing new directors.
The Carlaw Heritage Trust is an independent body, but Auckland Rugby League is sole beneficiary and both bodies share the same Chairman.
The Trust will have a 67% shareholding with the remainder held by Autex Industries.
Autex has a long history of supporting rugby league in New Zealand as a pioneering sponsor of New Zealand's national rugby league team in the late 1970s and 80s.
While the sale price was not revealed, media speculation suggested it was in the region of $18 million.
Image: Bodene Thompson runs onto the field with a young Warriors fan at Mt Smart Stadium in 2017.
17th April 2018 - NRL AGREES TO TAKE BIG GAMES TO MELBOURNE
27th March 2018 - STRATEGIC PLAN LAUNCHED TO GUIDE THE FUTURE OF RUGBY LEAGUE
13th March 2017 - NEW ZEALAND’S LARGEST BIG SCREEN GOES LIVE AT MT SMART STADIUM
19th February 2016 - WARRIORS TO STAY AT MOUNT SMART UNTIL END OF 2028
30th November 2015 - VALE: PETER MCLEOD, HEAD OF EVENTS AND VENUES ROTORUA AND NZ WARRIORS CO-FOUNDER
10th August 2015 - MAYORAL CANDIDATE URGES SALE OF AUCKLAND’S ‘SURPLUS’ STADIUMS
11th December 2014 - $30 MILLION INVESTMENT TO BOOST AUCKLAND’S STADIUMS
15th October 2014 - UNCERTAINTY OVER WARRIORS FUTURE AT MT SMART STADIUM
3rd March 2012 - BILLIONAIRE GLENN BUYS INTO WARRIORS NRL FRANCHISE
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