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123.ie founder buys Wasps

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BUZZ OFF: Leinster’s Sean O'Brien brushes off a challenge from a Wasps’ player. The London side is now 98 per cent-owned by Irish entrepreneur Derek Richardson

BUZZ OFF: Leinster’s Sean O'Brien brushes off a challenge from a Wasps’ player. The London side is now 98 per cent-owned by Irish entrepreneur Derek Richardson

BUZZ OFF: Leinster’s Sean O'Brien brushes off a challenge from a Wasps’ player. The London side is now 98 per cent-owned by Irish entrepreneur Derek Richardson

Monaco-based Irish insurance entrepreneur Derek Richardson has led a group of investors in buying troubled English premiership rugby team London Wasps.

Mr Richardson, who sold his 123.ie online insurance firm to RSA for €82m in 2010, has taken control of 98 per cent of the 2007 Heineken Cup champions following a refinancing.

The Irish entrepreneur is also involved with groundbreaking new mortgage protection provider Hello.ie with business partner Andrew Collins.

"The new shareholding make-up of the club includes investment from a couple of other individuals, who for now wish to remain in the background. Further down the line that may change and we may well seek additional investment as various strategic projects get off the ground," Mr Richardson said last week.

"I also think this is generally a very good time to get involved in rugby, a sport that is generating more and more visibility, which the recent TV deal with BT Sport attests to, and I'm excited to be part of it," the businessman added.

Irish Independent