Ospreys: Sports marketing group takes 75.1% stake in ‘multi-million pound’ takeover deal – BBC News

James Davies-Yandle played hockey for Wales at the 2002 Commonwealth Games

Ospreys have been taken over by a sports marketing group which has bought a 75.1% stake in the region.

Asian-based Y11 Sports & Media company has become Ospreys’ major shareholder in a “multi-million pound deal”.

Chief executive James Davies-Yandle and his business partner and financier Donald Tang join as new directors.

Chairman Robert Davies continues in his role with the region, saying this represents the “long-term transformation” of Ospreys.

“Since the advent of regional rugby, the Ospreys have always aimed to be its pioneers,” said Davies.

“We haven’t been afraid to do things differently and to push the envelope. Today’s announcement is us doing the same again.”

A new holding company, Ospreys International Group, has been established, with Ospreys saying all the financial benefits from the transaction are to be ploughed back into the region.

Davies and the other pre-existing shareholders will collectively retain a 24.9% stake.

“For some time now we’ve been planning a radical shift of gear and, from that, over 12 months of hard work and strategic planning has led to this new partnership with Y11,” said Davies.

“It was essential we found a partner who shared our ambition and vision, but with the cultural understanding, expertise and resources to propel the region and community into a new era.

“We needed to secure the success of the past, whilst embracing fully the future and that is what we are now doing together. We’re thrilled by the opportunities ahead.

“We are confident all our stakeholders and partners will be as excited about this development as we are.

“We have confided in the Welsh Rugby Union Executive and kept them fully aware of this development and now we look forward to planning for the Ospreys’ future.”

Ospreys have been searching for new investment since a proposed merger with Scarlets was shelved in 2019.

The region have struggled this season with only two wins in 18 games but have appointed Mike Ruddock as performance director and Toby Booth as the new head coach.

Ospreys chairman Robert Davies and managing director Andrew Millward

Davies-Yandle’s father Mike played for Swansea and scored the only try of the club’s 1973 draw against Australia.

“Rugby’s potential has been overlooked for too long as other sports have been nimbler at seizing commercial opportunities to power success on the pitch with revenues off it,” said Davies-Yandle.

“But the environment is changing quickly and rugby is on the verge of going through the same type of evolution as other sports before it.

“The Ospreys, from a standing start, have gone on to be one of the most exciting brands and teams in rugby.

“Of all the clubs we’ve seen, its potential to fully emerge and take the next step is far beyond that of its peers.

“We want to help it make that journey by investing in a root-and-branch transformation of the Ospreys, to ensure it leads the next wave of the game.

“Alongside the Ospreys’ management, we have agreed a programme of development and investment that will touch every aspect of the organisation’s operations and activities.

“Initially, we will take our time together to methodically build operational strength, capacity and resilience, before rapidly accelerating programmes across the board.

“Crucially, we are not going to allow ourselves to be held back by the current operating environment and we are not going to be afraid to break the mould.

“Ultimately, our reach and our sights are set far beyond our existing borders and our business model and expertise are too.

“It’s an exciting time for the Ospreys: its team, its supporters, the organisation as well as for the game of rugby.”

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