Newlands saga: Province scramble after meeting shift
UPDATE: Lawyers are beginning to play an increasingly bigger role in the developments of the aeonian Newlands Stadium saga.
In the wake of the @rugby365com revelation that Investec has threatened to take legal action against the Western Province Rugby Football Union, it has been reported that a Special General Council Meeting has been rescheduled.
Originally planned for Thursday, June 25, the SGM will now be held on the alternative date – next Tuesday, June 30.
It is not clear if the decision to shift the meeting was tactical or because permission was not granted – according to clause 10.2.4 (requiring a 15-day notice period) of the WPRFU constitution.
However, it has resulted in a scramble, as the WPRFU executive attempt to get guarantees in place for the more than ZAR100-million in debt owed to Investec Properties and Remgro Sports Investments.
The rescheduled meeting must decide (confirm an earlier decision by the executive) whether it should walk away from a deal with Investec and sign on for a partnership with Flyt Property Investments (previously known as Any Side Investments (Pty) Ltd).
Flyt – referred to in notices of the meeting as Any Side – will give WPRFU a loan to cover its debts.
WPRFU must then register a new mortgage bond on the Newlands Stadium.
The Remgro loan is due at month’s end, but the terms of ‘repayment’ of the Investec ‘advance’ is not clear.
It was when news of Flyt’s appearance as the new WPRFU benefactor became public knowledge that the already strained relationship between WPRFU and Investec really went south.
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As @rugby365com reported this week, Investec has now threatened to take legal action should the WPRFU follow through with the proposal to walk away from an agreement with the investment banking giant.
Werksmans, a pre-eminent corporate and commercial law firm acting on behalf of Investec, said the WPRFU ‘acted in bad faith’, adding that it reserves the rights of legal action.
This threat of legal action follows just a week after Aerios (Pty) Ltd, the agency which managed the advertising rights of the WPRFU since 2012, filed damages claims amounting to ZAR183-million.
SA Rugby is the first respondent and the WPRFU the second respondent in the Aerios claim – a saga dating back to when WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd declared bankruptcy in late 2016.
However, the Investec threat has potentially far more catastrophic implications for WPRFU.
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