The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (WRU) has appointed NatWest as its new banker in an agreement that will see the bank provide funding worth £40m in support of the WRU’s commitment to professional and community rugby in Wales.
The deal, which has been completed by NatWest’s Corporate Coverage and Structured Finance teams, includes revolving credit facilities to support earnings enhancing capital expenditure and ongoing working capital needs. The funding package will enable the WRU to continue to support Welsh rugby’s professional rugby strategy, which is ultimately aimed at delivering international and regional performance consistency, Pro14 success, and promoting and facilitating greater participation in the game.
In its most recent annual report the WRU announced a record turnover of £97m thanks to a 30% increase in revenue. It also successfully reduced the debt of the Principality Stadium to £6.2m.
Martyn Phillips, Chief Executive at the WRU, said the appointment of NatWest would continue to allow the WRU the platform to drive success at both domestic and international level.
“The rugby landscape is challenging financially and we are pleased to appoint NatWest to help enable a successful and sustainable future for the game in Wales. NatWest’s support will be invaluable in ensuring the WRU is well placed to capitalise on any future development opportunities.”
Stuart Allison, Director NatWest Corporate Banking, said:
“As the game’s governing body in Wales, the WRU has worked to ensure it is in the strongest position possible to build stability and success. This new funding package gives it the agility and confidence to continue doing so in what is set to be an exciting period for Welsh rugby.”
Stefan Gunn, Director NatWest Structured Finance, added:
“The WRU is an extremely well run and professional organisation and NatWest is pleased to be supporting them and rugby in Wales. Our facilities will allow them to optimise their capital structure and, importantly, provide the flexibility needed to continue to drive growth and profitability. We are excited about the opportunities which lie ahead for the WRU and look forward to supporting them.”