The investors looking to buy a controlling majority share in WP Rugby could consider expanding the Stormers’ trade name in different rugby leagues around the world.
A New York-based company MVM Holdings, headed by Marco Masotti, a Durban-raised lawyer has submitted an offer to buy a 51% controlling interest in the Stormers. Of the $6m offer, $2m would go to the WPRFU board and $4m to the Stormers board.
The consortium has recently started an exclusive 45-day negotiation period with the union and according to a report on Netwerk24, the company’s strategic document highlights its plan to expand and franchise the Stormers trade name to various teams playing in leagues in North America, Europe and Asia.
‘There are 33 million rugby supporters in the USA with a strong consumers profile, 55% of household income are above $100 000, 55% are millennials and 67% have children,’ the document stated.
‘It is attainable to establish Stormers franchises in this fast-growing and potentially rewarding market in order to build and expand player and coaching basis.’
However, Western Province Rugby is believed to be reluctant about the prospective deal, with concerns over relinquishing the controlling share.
City Press reports that the cash-strapped union could lose its most senior and high-profile players if a deal does not go through.
‘The players are livid. We’re going to lose a lot of them,’ a source said.
‘This deal is so good and we’re treating them so badly; it’s almost as if we’re trying to push them away. How anyone can refuse R100m in the time of Covid-19 is remarkable.
‘There’s no way Siya [Kolisi] can start a new contract with a union that has no ability to underwrite it. We’re now in a position where the union’s going to lose Siya.
‘The seven or eight Springboks at the Stormers are furious because it’s not easy to an equity partner in rugby at the moment. Those Boks can’t go to local teams because they’ve contracted for their salary caps.’