FANS TO OWN A SLICE OF THE BRONCOS

Written on the 22 August 2011

FANS TO OWN A SLICE OF THE BRONCOS

BRISBANE Broncos supporters can now put their money where their mouth is and own a piece of the famous publicly-listed NRL football club (ASX:BBL) after $1000 units were released to the market.

A 24.5 per cent stake in the company has been for sale since early this year, however after failing to attract a sole investor for the complete package, the smaller tranches have been designed to attract interest from fans and ‘mum and dad’ investors.

Only 1000 of the smaller packages are available to the public, leaving about $7 million worth of shares still available for a large investor to snap up.

The opportunity comes after three key Brisbane Broncos Limited shareholders decided to sell-off their combined interests in the company, which is 68 per cent owned by News Limited.

Brisbane advisory firm Scancorp has been engaged to market the share sale. Managing director Marcus Salouk had earlier told Brisbane Business News if the 24 million shares were not taken up by an individual or consortia as one or two bundles, they would be divided into smaller units.

Today he says the $1000 parcels are expected to generate extensive market interest, but is still hopeful of selling the majority of the available shares to a large investor.

“The total offering to the market is worth around $8 million and there are still a number of parties interested in purchasing a large stake in the Brisbane Broncos,” says Salouk.

“Initially we have 1000 parcels of $1,000 available and we intend to release these in stages. With over 1.2 million fans we expect the Brisbane Broncos Limited shares to be in high demand.

“BBL shares have been exceptionally hard to acquire, in fact the entire volume of shares traded over the past 12 months was only $90,000. We anticipate that volume will be exceeded within the first few weeks of the share campaign.”

Scancorp will launch a widespread marketing campaign later this month, including television, radio and print advertising across Queensland.

“We are not aware of other listed sell-downs in this manner. Portfolios of this kind are rarely sold and almost never in packages that ordinary investors can afford, so we are immensely proud to offer these shares in small parcels for retail investors and the club’s fans,” says Salouk.

Craig Davison, (4 per cent), Tony Scanlon, (11 per cent) and John Gearney (about 10 per cent) once were key figures in the group known as ‘The Thoroughbreds’ – prominent businessman who regularly throw their backing behind the club, but are now seeking a buyer for their shares.

Despite Davidson also heading the bid for a second, competing Brisbane NRL team, Bronco’s CEO Paul White assures the legion of Broncos fans that its market position, brand and product is as strong as ever.

“I don’t think people should read too much into it, (and) it shouldn’t hold any fear for other shareholders,” says White.

“I’ve spoken personally to at least two of those shareholders and they’re very happy with how the company is being run and the direction of the company, but they’re probably at the stage where they’re looking for other opportunities for their investments.”


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