Wasps RC launches £35m bonds bid

The team bought Arena Coventry Limited last autumn

Updated: 
Wasps RC launches £35m bonds bid

Rugby club Wasps has launched a £35 million fundraising drive in a bid to make the most of its new home as a leading sports and events complex.

The Aviva Premiership team moved to Coventry's Ricoh Arena from High Wycombe in December, tripling its average crowd to 18,569 per match.

As part of its plan to become a market-leading sports and events group, the club wants to raise between £25 million and £35 million from a seven-year bond paying a fixed gross rate of interest of 6.5% a year until 2022.

The offer is among the first of its kind in the sports industry, with retail investors able to participate through a minimum investment of £2,000. The bonds are scheduled to begin trading on May 14.

Wasps bought Arena Coventry Limited last autumn, since when it has seen a a 50% jump in conference and exhibition sales to 305 events.

The Ricoh Arena complex can also be used as a 40,500-capacity concert venue while it has a casino, two restaurants and a 121-room hotel.

The venue has played host to Take That and Bruce Springsteen concerts as well as Davis Cup tennis tournaments.

Wasps chief executive David Armstrong said: "The move to the Ricoh Arena was transformational for Wasps and our new home provides us with multiple income streams and the opportunity to create one of the UK's premier sport, business and entertainment complexes."

Wasps, formed in 1867 at the Eton and Middlesex Tavern in north London, set up its first ground in Finchley Road. Its unusual name comes from the Victorian fashion of naming clubs after insects, birds or animals.

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