Sale Sharks have announced that after 16 years under owner Brian Kennedy's control, the Premiership club has been acquired by CorpAcq Ltd.
CorpAcq is a Manchester based corporate acquisitions and investment company controlled by Simon Orange.
"The last 16 years at the helm of this great club has been a great privilege. We have had many wonderful moments, particularly winning two European trophies and the Premiership for the first time in the club's history," said Kennedy as he went on to pay tribute to Sale's staff.
"I would like to thank our remarkable employees, players and coaches over the years with particular mention of Dave Swanton, Lisa Robinson, Paul Smith, Alan Blease, Robbie Dickson, Pete Anglesea and of course Steve Diamond. These folks were with me pretty much from day one and have proved to be the foundation of the club and I'm sure will go on to support the new owners with the same dedication shown to me. I'd also like to thank our sponsors over the years and the Premiership team who have grown the game centrally to the current dynamic level."
"I thank the supporters and the supporters' club for the tremendous backing and dignified support they have given to our club, and to me personally, over the years through good times and difficult times. My business partner Ian Blackhurst and myself now hand the club over debt free and in healthy order to Simon Orange and his substantial business group CorpAcq. We are confident Simon and his team have the right credentials, energy and passion to take the club to the next level and we wish them and Sale the greatest of success in the future."
Orange said: "Sale have performed resiliently over the past 16 years under the ownership of Brian Kennedy and now we believe we can build on this success and take it to another level. With our planned investment I think we can close the gap between Sale and the teams above us.
"We intend to establish Manchester as a Premiership rugby region. Sale's academy is one of the best with 12 of our players involved with England at various age groups and three senior players, originally from our academy, called up to the full England training squad, and we plan further investment in order to strengthen it. Sale also have an award winning Community Service Program which we also intend to grow.
"I hope rugby fans from the region will support Sale Sharks and help us to build a dominant Northern Powerhouse both on and off the field."