'Western Province has been saved'
UPDATE: The business of Western Province Rugby has successfully been sold to a company wholly owned by the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU).
The news was confirmed via statement from WP Rugby on Thursday.
Western Province Rugby (Pty) Limited was placed into final liquidation by the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday after Judge Ashley Binns-Ward dismissed allegations that th WPRFU brains trust were using a 'legal loophole' to obtain the liquidation and avoid the damages claim of around ZAR70-million from Aerios, a company whose stated commercial focus is to sell sponsorship rights in sport.
THE FULL STATEMENT ISSUED BY WP RUGBY
Western Province Rugby (Pty) Limited (in liquidation) ("WPR")
"The joint provisional liquidator of WPR, Chris van Zyl, managing director of Mazars Recovery and Restructuring (Pty) Limited, would like to announce that pursuant to ongoing negotiations, the joint provisional liquidators of WPR have successfully concluded an agreement to sell the business of WPR on a going concern basis to a company wholly owned by the Western Province Rugby Football Union ("WPRFU").
"The purchase price that has been achieved by the joint provisional liquidators for the business is more than twice the net asset valuation conducted by a large audit firm and verified by another independent audit firm.
"In addition it is more than 10 times the estimated value of the assets on a breakdown basis under forced sale circumstances.
"The purchaser has in addition to the purchase consideration, also agreed that it will pay all of the staff, players, team management, groundsmen and other salaries that are due for December 2016 so as to protect and preserve those employment contracts as well as the business itself. Going forward, the purchaser will be responsible for the payment of salaries.
"The agreement has been signed and the purchase price paid.
"It is important to note that in terms of SARU’s constitution the sole regulator of rugby in the Western Province and the only entity practically capable of purchasing the business as a going concern is one in which the WPRFU has a proprietary interest. This was confirmed by Judge Binns-Ward in his judgment delivered on 20 December 2016.
"No other binding offers which satisfy this requirement have been received by the liquidators.
"The good news therefore is that rugby in the Western Province has been saved and an exciting 2017 season awaits the loyal Western Province supporter fan base."