Thu 7 Jan 2021 | 05:02

Ground-breaking deal: WP's loss is Sharks' gain

Ground-breaking deal: WP's loss is Sharks' gain
Thu 7 Jan 2021 | 05:02
Ground-breaking deal: WP's loss is Sharks' gain
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NEWS: The Sharks have done what Western Province could not.

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MVM Holdings, an international investment consortium spearheaded by Marco Masotti, has entered into an agreement to purchase a 51 percent majority stake in the Sharks.

The current shareholders, the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union and SuperSport International, will hold the remaining 49 percent of the franchise. The financial terms of the transaction are confidential.

MVM Holdings were previously in discussions with WP Rugby/Stormers last year about a deal, but it all came to nothing.

In an official statement, Masotti said: “The Sharks have a deep and wonderful history that can translate into a formidable global rugby brand.

“Our investment is designed to facilitate the expansion of the franchise through deep relationships with business people, financing sources and other sporting codes.

“We believe that rugby provides a unique platform for character and community building. We intend to shine a global light on the city of Durban and create opportunities for players from diverse backgrounds to become international stars.”

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Brian Van Zyl, the newly-elected president of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union, expressed confidence that the partnership has come at the right time and with the right partners for the Sharks.

“In all our dealings with Marco Masotti, it was abundantly clear that his consortium, together with SuperSport, will bring not only greater commercial savviness but also international ties that will result in the Sharks becoming one of the most recognised global sports brands,” Van Zyl said.

In an interview with IOL, Masotti added: “The deal was concluded very quickly.

“What impressed us is that the Sharks are open-minded and hungry to embrace change and grow into the future, and we have so many exciting plans for developing the brand and growing the sport.”

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“What impressed us is that the Sharks are open-minded and hungry to embrace change and grow into the future, and we have so many exciting plans for developing the brand and growing the sport.”

With millions of dollars set to flood into Durban, the franchise is set to be significantly strengthened over the next few years through player acquisitions.

Before the official announcement on Thursday, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s name was dragged in the mix for a potential move to Durban when reports of a deal between MVM Holdings and the Sharks first emerged.

One of MVM Holdings’ investors is Vincent Mai, who has a very close relationship with Kolisi.

Kolisi was the first recipient of the Vincent Mai Bursary Scheme, which allowed him to attend prestigious Grey High in Port Elizabeth.

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Ground-breaking deal: WP's loss is Sharks' gain | Rugby365