Helford Capital Limited's acquisition will be completed on Wednesday
The Cardiff Rugby takeover by Helford Capital Limited has been approved by shareholders and will be completed today with the new owners keen to leverage their business interests in the Middle East.
A General Meeting on Tuesday night saw the acquisition receive a 99.99% approval and the investment group fronted by British businessmen Phil Kempe and Neal Griffith will become majority shareholders. Wales rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards has accepted an invitation to become the club’s honorary president.
Related: Wales Six Nations squad
Interestingly, in a statement released in December to confirm that contracts had been exchanged, the club included the line: “The duo already have significant business relationships in the United Arab Emirates, which they plan to leverage for the benefit of Cardiff Rugby.”
After months of negotiations, the URC side’s long-term future is now secure following the passing of former president and benefactor Peter Thomas.
Cardiff Rugby takeover: What they said
Cardiff Rugby chair, Alun Jones, said: “Today represents a huge moment in the history of Cardiff Rugby and gives us a bright, secure and exciting future.
“Following the sad passing of Peter Thomas, it was essential that we found new investment to safeguard the cub and drive us forward.
“We remain indebted to Peter, the Thomas family and the other shareholders who have moved on but we now have new owners who can help us fulfil Peter’s vision and ambitions for the club with renewed passion.
“Phil and Neal have a genuine appetite to restore Cardiff as a European force and have already begun stabilising the foundations.
“With Helford Capital at the helm, we want to deliver exceptional rugby experiences whether you are a player, a member of staff, a supporter or sponsor.
“Helford have the resource and ambition to deliver that and we will now begin an inclusive process with all key stakeholders to build a new long-term strategy.”
New WRU chief executive Abi Tierney added: “Congratulations to Cardiff Rugby and everyone involved in the negotiations and process to seek new investment, which today has reached a hugely successful conclusion.
“We welcome Helford Capital wholeheartedly to Welsh rugby with a sense of excitement and optimism about what the future holds.”
Cardiff Rugby sit 12th in the URC with just three wins from nine games so far this season. They have also lost all three of their Champions Cup matches. Matt Sherratt’s side return to competitive action at home to Connacht in the URC on Saturday 17 February.