Melbourne - The cash-strapped Australian Rugby Union (ARU) are close to selling off the
Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise, which will save them more than $2.41 million a year.
The ARU, who announced a loss of $4.8 million for 2014 last month, said on
Friday they had entered into an exclusive heads of agreement with a
Melbourne-based investment group to sell the remaining shares in the club.
"We are now progressing legal documentation and detailed due diligence
is underway to finalise the transaction," ARU CEO Bill Pulver said in a
"We expect a formal transfer of the company will be completed by 30
The ARU took over the Rebels from 2013, when a consortium of private
investors walked away from the club after burning through $5.7 million in three
The ARU said they had spent more than $4.5 million in 2013 on the side, which
became the fifth Australian Super Rugby franchise in 2011.
The Rebels finished bottom of the standings in their inaugural season and
were again 15th in 2014 but have racked up a best ever performance of six wins
this term to leave themselves in contention for a maiden playoff campaign.