WPRFU courting Anicra again, despite previous misgivings
Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais caused a stir when he put forward Anicra (Pty) Ltd as a legitimate alternative option to Staytus to solve the union’s ongoing financial crisis.
Marais, both in an interview with @rugby365com and in union structures, has defended the Nic Rademeyer-led company.
However, it has now become clear why people frowned upon Marais’ proposal.
Anicra was first advanced by Marais as a possibility almost two years ago.
It soon became clear – as Marais now readily admits – that they are in fact ‘facilitators’ who search for investors on behalf of companies, in this case, WPRFU.
Back in 2019, Marais was warned that Anicra will first enter into an agreement and only then attempt to source a partner afterwards.
The chartered accountant tasked with doing the ‘due diligence’ on behalf of the WPRFU described it as an “exercise in futility” and warned that it could lead to “reputational damage“.
Although, at Marais’ insistence, WPRFU continued to pursue the possibility for a while, nothing ever came of it.
@rugby365com is in possession of documentation that shows several executive members – including Deputy President Moneeb Levy – pressing for more information on Anicra and potential investors before committing the union.
(Continue below ...)
Less than a year later WPRFU signed a deal with Flyt/Dream World and bonded its properties for a loan of ZAR112-million – to pay off previous debts to Remgro and Investec.
This deal has also gone south and in March this year Dream World Investments – an associated company within the Flyt Group – filed formal papers on WPRFU in the Western Cape High Court to recover a loan amount of (ZAR112-million), plus interest thereon, a raising fee of ZAR1,265-million and damages of ZAR30,156,585 (the development charge).
This legal stand-off necessitated the South African Rugby Union to step in and (as part of a now-disbanded advisory committee) put forward Staytus as a solution.
However, that was when Marais suggested Anicra could be an option – at the very least as a facilitator.
Marais, asked by @rugby365com what had changed between 2019 and 2021 that improved the Anicra option, admitted there was no confirmed investor(s).
“Anicra is not an investor, but an intermediary and/or facilitator,” Marais told this website, adding: “Anicra was to introduce WPRFU to an investor and/or investors.”
However, nothing came of that, despite Marais’ claims at a WPRFU general council meeting on August 26 of a potential ‘alternative investor’.
“The Brookside, Oranjezicht and the available erfs around the stadium were made available for a suitable investor and/or investors,” Marais told this website, when asked about Anicra’s involvement.
“The potential investors particularly wanted the [Newlands] stadium, and Anicra was told to inform its principal that the said property is not available.”
That means two years after ‘due diligence’ by the executive suggested Anicra was a waste of time and suggested the union move on to ‘real stuff’, the Rademeyer company is again being courted.
Marais staunchly defended the decision.
“I can’t recall anything to the effect of ‘a waste of time and resources‘ that could lead to ‘reputational damage’,” Marais told @rugby365com.
“Should the facilitator [Anicra] and/or investor [sourced by Anicra] have failed either the due diligence or the feasibility study, then no deal would have been concluded.”
Also worth reading
Zelt: WPRFU won’t be held to ransom
SARU pulls the plug on WPRFU
Zelt faces new legal threat
Zelt reveals his ‘alternative’ benefactor
New call for ‘vote of no confidence’ in Zelt
Witch-hunt and those mysterious letters
WPRFU sell property shares to assist with ‘cash flow’
New financial bomb drops on WPRFU
The snake pit that is WPRFU v Flyt
WPRFU and Dreamworld court stand-off just got real