Freehills has advised the Tinkler Sports Group on the privatisation of the Newcastle Knights rugby league club.
The transaction was approved at a meeting of members of Newcastle Knights, held last week, with an overwhelming 97 per cent vote in favour of the move. The change will involve a new not-for-profit company, owned by Tinkler Sports Group, acquiring the assets and operations of Newcastle Knights. Tinkler Sports Group has also undertaken to underwrite at least $100 million in sponsorship commitments over 10 years.
This transaction will give the Newcastle Knights the opportunity to restructure and resolve its current financial position, increase the existing committed revenue derived from sponsorship and corporate hospitality, and increase the annual spend on junior rugby league development, National Youth Competition and Newcastle Rugby League.
The Freehills team was led by partners Sarah Kenny and Mark Crean, supported by senior associate Shing Lo, and solicitors Tracy Nau, Christopher Hill and Ksenia Belova.
"The transaction will ensure that the Newcastle Knights has the benefit of stable ownership and financial security for at least 10 years which will benefit the rugby league team and its members," Crean said.
The League's club was advised by local Newcastle firm Bilbie Dan.