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.
“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.
“Jonathan, thank you to you and your team for your tremendous support and wise counsel during the process. You kept a calm head throughout and successfully charted a course to bring us to this great conclusion. David, the team and I are all delighted with the outcome as we now join forces with Cafento to build the brand to even greater heights. I would highly recommend your services!”
“The team at Cavendish went far beyond what was expected, supporting us through the entire fundraising process. I am certain that the deal with Piper would never have completed in the time frame without their help.”
Jonathan, thank you for all your help, sound advice and hard work over the last year. You very skilfully guided us through a challenging process. As well as a fantastic exit for some very happy shareholders, there is no doubt in my mind that Orlebar Brown has ended up in the right place. Your patience was rewarded!
“Cavendish worked hard and achieved an excellent result for stakeholders. I would certainly recommend their services.”
“The Cavendish team did an excellent job and provided expert advice throughout the transaction and most importantly ensured the deal crossed the line. I am pleased that Jollyes has passed into experienced hands and I truly believe the business has an exciting future ahead.”
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