Travers Smith LLP has advised professional rugby union club Leicester Football Club plc (aka Leicester Tigers) on a structured financing package including new facilities from HSBC Bank, major shareholders and the Government's Sport Winter Survival Package.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the club without matchday revenues for much of the past year and, although it has made plans to welcome supporters back into the stadium whenever possible, restrictions remain in place. Leicester Tigers continue to play behind closed doors and so this refinancing allows the club to execute and achieve its strategic plan.
The UK Government announced the Sport Winter Survival Package in November 2020. The emergency funding is designed to protect the immediate future of major spectator sports in England impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The funding, largely composed of loans, is the most generous of any Government in the world for its domestic sport sector and focuses on sports severely impacted over the winter including rugby union, horse racing, and women’s football.
The Travers Smith team was led by Finance Partner, Donald Lowe and Corporate M&A and ECM Partner, Jon Reddington, with support from Finance Associates Michael Leadbeater and Timothy Short.
Partner Donald Lowe added "The impact of COVID-19 on spectator sports has been immense and reminds us of the vital role that major clubs play within their local communities. We are delighted to have been able to support Leicester Tigers with the establishment of a new financing package that will help to create a platform for its successful future."