Breakers owners looking to sell up
New Zealand Breakers owners Paul and Liz Blackwell will relinquish their controlling stake in the basketball club in an attempt to bring in new investors.
The Breakers are currently enjoying the high of a record start to any season, sitting on top of the ANBL ladder with an eight-win, one-loss record – those eight successive victories including Sunday night’s win over nearest rivals, the Wildcats in Perth.
Paul and Liz Blackwell have owned the club since 2005, but have decided the time is right for new investors to lead the club as it and the league continue to grow.
Paul Blackwell says this current season will be their last at the helm and believes it’s a decision based on what’s best for the club.
‘‘We have thought about this long and hard and spoken with those close to us and the club,’’ Blackwell said.
‘‘We believe the timing is perfect for us to make this decision and more importantly, for a new majority owner to lead the club into what promises to be an exciting new phase as the ANBL continues to grow and develop.
‘‘This means selling our controlling stake in the club to the right investors who can bring capital and renewed vigor to ensure the Breakers’ ongoing success. Everyone that knows our story knows that our goals always have been very much community focused.
‘‘Yes, we have pursued on court success and we have achieved more than we ever dreamed of, with four championships and five grand final appearances over the past seven years.
‘‘But for us the main goal was to build a club that gives back to its community, one that young New Zealanders can look up to, a club that sets an example and provides a pathway for players, coaches and administrators to grow and develop.
‘‘The time is right for new investors to help lead and move the club forward with a renewed commercial focus. The NBL is going ahead in leaps and bounds, the club must move with it and we have made the decision now to ensure the ongoing success and growth of the club.’’
ANBL executive director Larry Kestelman acknowledged the role the Blackwells and the Breakers have played in both the ANBL and the New Zealand sporting landscape.
‘‘Paul and Liz have done an incredible job building the Breakers and the club is an integral part of the ANBL and our future plans to continue build success on both sides of the Tasman,’’ he said.