Lead consortium withdraws from takeover bid due to “hammer blow”

The leading consortium buying Wasps withdrew its offer in a devastating blow to the troubled club, Telegraph Sport may reveal.

David Armstrong, the former CEO of Wasps, had been considered one of the favorites to take over the affected club with the support of South African millionaire Richard Bottger, part of Terminum Capital.

The group was eager to take control of the club, Coventry Building Society Arena, hotel and casino on site, with £ 12m in working capital ready for rugby and £ 50m for the stadium. However, the deal was conditional on the entire package and is now thought to have died in the water.

Last week, Telegraph Sport also broke the news that Armstrong’s offer – which was in conjunction with Oakwell Sports Advisory – depended on maintaining the P stake.

A senior source told Telegraph Sport: “Gutted, speechless. Terminum Capital and the consortium have been constantly trying to find clarity on the position of the P share in the case of administration and demotion for Wasps RFC.

“Securing the P share was critical to the offering and the returns investors were hoping for. It is with regret that they have not received any response.

“Recent press reports, including those from the Premiership Rugby president last Saturday, leave no doubt, however, as to what the true position of the PRL and its stakeholders is. From a financial point of view, this is a hammer blow.” .

Last week, Premiership Rugby executives downplayed the importance of the P quota and detailed their reasons against allowing Worcester Warriors and Wasps to keep their P quotas – which entitle clubs to a percentage of the revenue. of the league – saying that “we must be strong this and we will be strong”.

On Monday, Joint Administrator Andrew Sheridan seemed to harbor a faint hope that wasps might be featured in the Premiership later this season, and was “reasonably confident” of throwing a Rugby Football Union favorite party at some point on Tuesday.

He warned, however, that the process of establishing new ownership could take time, especially given the plight of Worcester.

“Things can happen quickly and they have to happen quickly,” he added. “For the Wasps to have any prospect of staying in the Gallagher Premiership this year, it should happen very quickly. I just don’t think the people running the competition would allow them to skip too many extra games.

“The other thing that makes this difficult is that there is a process to be completed with both the Rugby Football Union and the PRL. [Premiership Rugby Limited], depending on the entity that carries it out. It is not a quick process.

“First of all, we need to find someone who wants to run the business and then when we have that preferred entity, we need to make sure that it is presented to the RFU to begin the proper and proper process.

“Given the control they have recently had over that process, I’m sure it will be a more solid and longer process that will take time and, unfortunately, time is what we don’t have.”

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