13 Jun 2023

Former All Blacks take stake in Highlanders

4:24 pm on 13 June 2023
Ben Smith and Nasi Manu hold the Super Rugby trophy aloft after the Highlanders historic win.

The Highlanders sole Super Rugby title win was in 2015. Photo: Photosport

A group led by Marc Ellis and including fellow All Blacks Taine Randell and John Timu have bought an 11 per cent stake in the Highlanders Super Rugby franchise.

Co-owners Peter Kean and Shane Drummond have sold part of their interests in the franchise to two groups - one headed by Ellis and the other by Dunedin accountant Chris Gallaher.

Ellis' group has taken an 11% and the Gallaher led group 10%.

Drummond and Kean retain 33% each.

A group made up of the provincial unions Otago, North Otago and Southland retains 13%.

New Highlanders directors Chris Gallaher and Marc Ellis.

New Highlanders directors Chris Gallaher and Marc Ellis. Photo: Supplied

Gallaher is currently chair of cancer technology company Pacific Edge.

Ellis who played for the All Black and the Kiwis and for the Highlanders in 2000 and was also involved in founding juice company Charlie's will join the Highlanders board.

"Shane and I always planned to sell down some shares. Our intent from there was to find people who are connected in some way to the Highlanders' Region, either having lived here, worked here, went to university here, played rugby here, or in some cases, all of the above!," said Kean.