South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (the Rabbitohs) has announced that it has been informed today by Blackcourt League Investments Pty Limited (Blackcourt) that ScrumPac Pty Limited, a (wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited) (CPH) has completed its purchase of 50% of Blackcourt.

Blackcourt is the company which owns 75% of the Rabbitohs, as it has done since the re-structure of the Rabbitohs in June 2006.

CPH has purchased its 50% share in Blackcourt from interests associated with Peter Holmes à Court for an undisclosed sum. The remaining 50% stake in Blackcourt remains with interests associated with Russell Crowe.

The transaction has no impact on the 25% interest in the Rabbitohs owned by South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club (Member Co.), nor does it affect the preferential share owned by Members which controls in perpetuity the team’s name, logo, colours, jersey and choice of home ground.

Rabbitohs and Member Co. Chairman, Nicholas Pappas, said: “I join with the Rabbitohs senior management team, our staff and our Members in welcoming James Packer to the Rabbitohs family. We promised some years ago to deliver sustained on-field success and the first chapter of that story was written on 5 October 2014 with our 21st premiership. We also promised to connect our great Club with the highest echelons of Australia’s business community so that its longevity could be ensured for decades to come. This we deliver today.

“Our deep appreciation goes to Peter Holmes à Court for his dedication towards these goals since 2006. A number of the new initiatives the Rabbitohs embarked upon since privatisation began with Peter, and he has undoubtedly played an integral part in our transformation. I know that he will remain a devoted Member and active participant in all that we do.

“Today is the commencement of a new era for the Rabbitohs as we mark another milestone in our quest to make our Club the benchmark in Australian sport in terms of success both on and off the field and through community engagement. I look forward to working with James, Russell and our devoted Members to make this happen.”

Mr James Packer, Chairman of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, said: “This is a very proud day for my family.

“My father had a long history and association with Souths and to now be a co-owner with Russell Crowe and the Members is an honour and a privilege.

“I am hopeful that working together with Russell, Souths Chairman Nick Pappas and CEO Shane Richardson, we can win more premierships for the fans, secure the Club’s long term financial future and in time establish Souths as Australia’s number one football club; with the biggest supporter base for all codes.

“Can I put on record my gratitude to Peter Holmes à Court for the outstanding work he has done at Souths over many years and wish him well for the future.”

Mr Holmes à Court said: “I’m looking forward to seeing our Members get behind the new team of Russell and James, and everyone working together to take this Club to new heights. 

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my official involvement with the Club since 2006, thanks in large part to the Members that believed in our plans for the Club. I will always remain a Member of the Rabbitohs. The Members have now saved this Club twice, and with their continued support, future success is assured. 

“The 21st premiership victory was, of course, the highlight, but I believe there are brighter days ahead. The Club’s plan to build a High Performance Community Centre at Heffron Park is the next step in the evolution of the Club. We must continue to pay respect to our spiritual home in Redfern and the broader South Sydney district, but we know we have seen this Club touch the hearts of people right across Australia and around the globe.

“I wish the Club every success in the future and I’ll be there for the ride as a proud Member of the South Sydney Football Club. On to 22, the work starts now.”