Marais wins the day in Newlands stand-off
BREAKING NEWS: Zelt Marais has managed to get his ‘new’ development deal for the Newlands stadium pushed through.
The Western Province Rugby Football Union clubs voted, by an overwhelming majority, in favour of Flyt and against Investec.
In a media release, President Zelt Marais said the new agreement, between the WPRFU and the Flyt Property Group, will enable the WPRFU to “accelerate advanced negotiations with the City of Cape Town to stage rugby matches at the under-utilised state-of-the-art Cape Town stadium”.
“It is envisaged that this will bring in an additional ZAR23-million into the city’s coffers per annum, for the benefit of all Cape Town residents,” Marais said.
This deal was approved at a Special General Council Meeting on Tuesday.
It was originally planned for last Thursday, June 25, but was rescheduled after they failed to convince their constituents to waive the 15 days notice period.
Marais convinced the SGC to approve Flyt Property as a ‘development partner’ – on a 50/50 basis – for the Newlands Stadium Grounds and also that of Brookside in Claremont.
The ZAR112-million – a loan from Dream World Investments 401 (Pty) Ltd, a company in the Flyt group – is already in the attorneys’ trust account and will repay the debts owed to Remgro (ZAR58-million) and Investec (ZAR50-million).
The loan owed to Remgro was due on Tuesday, June 30.
The Investec advance must be repaid in 24 equal instalments over 24 months, with effect from July 1.
The loan to Dream World, penned at the prime interest rate, must be repaid over a four-year period.
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“Bank guarantees [for the loan repayments] have already been obtained, subject to the ratification of the agreement by a Special General Meeting of the WPRFU on Wednesday 8 July 2020,” Marais said.
Council also approved a proposal that will see the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group incorporate a new company called Newlands DevCo.
This is the 50-50 partnership Marais favoured over the Investec deal – in which WPRFU would have to receive a minimum return from the development of the stadium of about five percent.
Newlands Stadium will now be developed into a mixed-use facility of residential and office apartments.
“Importantly, unlike previous loan and redevelopment arrangements, the WPRFU will have a 50 percent share in all economic benefits derived from the future development of the site,” Marais said.
“The previous development agreement with Investec lapsed on 1 June 2020 due to suspensive conditions not being met.
“Unlike the previous agreement, this new agreement with Flyt Property Group will give the WPRFU a meaningful and equal stake in the proposed development.
“It is, therefore, a much better deal for the WPRFU and the future of rugby in the province, which the body of voters clearly recognise.”
Another new company will also be formed between the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group called Brookside DevCo.
Brookside will also be developed into mixed-use apartments.
This deal will give the WPRFU access to an estimated ZAR40-million in cash, plus 50 percent of development profits down the line.
“As the President of WPRFU, I have always acted in the best interests of the union, its members and the broader rugby community,” Marais said.
“This agreement will allow the union to unlock the value in its properties, so it can invest in the long-term development of clubs and players in the province.
“This bodes well for the sustainability of Western Province rugby going forward.
“We look forward to working with our development partners, Flyt Property Group.”
The WPRFU President described it as the beginning of an “exciting new era for rugby in the Western Cape”.
“Rugby fans will soon be able to enjoy world-class facilities including a better viewing experience, top-notch safety and security measures and modern corporate hospitality suites at the Cape Town Stadium.
“Of course, Newlands will always have its place in the history of the sport, and we will certainly pay tribute to our Newlands rugby heritage at our new home in the heart of Cape Town.”
Also worth reading …
Newlands: The tangled web
All the facts about Remgro, Investec & Flyt
Aerios: Why it works at Sharks & failed at WP
New legal bomb drops on Newlands
SA Rugby taken to court in Newlands saga
Newlands: The grand old dame is no more