Gloucester Rugby Limited / Private individual
Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s leading sell-side mid-market M&A firm, has advised on the sale of the Walkinshaw family’s stake in Gloucester Rugby Ltd to Vice-Chairman Martin St Quinton, who is named as new owner and Chairman of the celebrated club.
Gloucester Rugby is today delighted to confirm that Martin St Quinton is the new 100% owner of the club with immediate effect.
The announcement, which comes with the club still in the hunt for a top six finish in the Aviva Premiership and in the quarter-finals in its defence of the European Rugby Challenge Cup, brings to an end a period of uncertainty. The news that Mr St Quinton, previously the club’s Vice-Chairman, has increased his shareholding to assume overall control of the club, will ensure welcome continuity in terms of the management of the club.
Mr St Quinton, who first acquired a 25% share in the club in October 2008 before subsequently increasing his shareholding, has purchased all the shares held by the Walkinshaw family and now has sole ownership of the club. The announcement follows the news in 2015 that the Kingsholm based club was seeking additional investment.
A successful businessman in the fields of office equipment and mobile communications, Mr St Quinton has served as Vice-Chairman of Gloucester Rugby since 2008 but will now assume the role of Chairman. In addition to his involvement with the club, Mr St Quinton was Chairman of the Fundraising Group that raised £50m for Cheltenham Racecourse’s recent redevelopment.
Speaking today at Kingsholm, Mr St Quinton commented
“I think it’s fair to say that the club wouldn’t be where it is today were it not for the involvement of the Walkinshaw family, firstly Tom who took over the club back in 1997 and also Ryan who took over from his father in late 2010.
Were it not for their commitment, vision, business acumen and, of course, their love of rugby, then the Gloucester Rugby story may have taken a completely different turn. On behalf of everyone connected with the club, I’d like to extend my thanks to the whole Walkinshaw family for their contribution.
I now believe that we are on the verge of an exciting new era for the club. Gloucester Rugby is a club that is moving in the right direction. We are in the privileged position of owning our own ground, have magnificent training facilities, our coaching set up and playing squad are both first class and we have the best supporters in the country.
“In completing this transaction, we wanted to ensure that the growth and success of the business that we have built to date is the foundation for further expansion in the years to come. We are delighted with the outcome and we would like to thank the team at finnCap Cavendish for all of their help throughout this process. They are experts at advising founders and entrepreneurs and they provided us with invaluable advice and guidance throughout.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with Rockpool. This transaction will enable us to accelerate our long-term growth objectives and help expand our international presence, especially in the US. Karri and Amy achieved a fantastic result for us and their ecommerce sector expertise, professionalism and unwavering dedication throughout the process were instrumental in achieving a successful completion.”
“We are immensely grateful for the hard work and expertise we received from finnCap in securing this fundraise. Zuleika’s knowledge and communication skills were outstanding. It is the first time we have raised external funds so we were heavily reliant on their introductions, all of which were a good fit for Ro&Zo. Zuleika’s guidance through the process was exemplary. We are delighted to have chosen Pembroke as our new shareholders and look forward to a long relationship with them as we continue our growth strategy.”
“On behalf of all of the shareholders at Peach, a huge thank you to the team at finnCap Cavendish – they have done a great job. With the unprecedented macro back-drop that we have all been experiencing, we needed an adviser who was thoughtful, tenacious and prepared to go the extra mile. We got of all this in spades from the finnCap Cavendish team and it has been a pleasure to work with them. We would not hesitate to recommend them to other business founders and entrepreneurs who are in need of experience-led judgement and advice.”
“I would also like to thank the team at finnCap Cavendish. They have done a great job in finding us the right buyer and running a smart and efficient process. Their support throughout has been excellent and combined with their commercial approach and sector knowledge, they have made great advisers for us.”
“Joe Stelzer and his team at finnCap Cavendish were the perfect partners as we navigated this exciting next step for the group. The firm’s wealth of expertise in advising entrepreneurial growth businesses, partnered with their quality of service and professionalism was invaluable and helped make this deal function as smoothly as possible.”
“This transaction is huge for our business as we look to continue our growth journey. We’re very excited to have raised enough capital from a leading impact investor to expand our market-leading position and maintain standards of excellence across all our products. We’re hugely grateful to the team at finnCap, who played a fundamental role, in what we hope, will be a very exciting growth story.”
“I would like to thank all of those involved in the process that has concluded with us ultimately choosing Neighborly as our partner going forward, those at finnCap Cavendish and our CFO Mike Bergin, without whom this would have not happened.”
Thank you to the Cavendish team for your unwavering support throughout this process. Finding a strategic overseas partner to allow me to realise my global ambition was my number one aim, and this has been achieved. In the current market the result you have delivered is exceptional.
It was a great pleasure to work with the Cavendish team again having originally worked with them when we sold Naked Wines to Majestic Wine in 2015. John, Rebecca and the team rigorously assessed the market to find the right new owner for a business with dedicated staff and suppliers and the right deal to achieve Naked’s goal of realising capital and simplifying the business.
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