The New York-based man behind moves to gain a controlling share of the Stormers is a business lawyer with a penchant for human rights issues.

Marco Masotti‚ who heads MVM Holdings‚ has offered $6m (almost R100m) for a 51% stake in the Stormers‚ Independent Media has reported.

Masotti‚ who graduated at the University of Natal‚ is a lawyer in the alternative asset management industry in the US.

His company profile reads: “Marco serves as president of the Friends of the Legal Resources Centre‚ SA’s largest pub­lic inter­est‚ human rights law clinic‚ and he is part of the founding advisory board for the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice at the City University of New York School of Law. Marco was awarded a Fulbright Placement Award upon graduating from the University of Natal School of Law.”

In the news report, Masotti explains that under the terms of the proposed deal‚ $4m will go to the Stormers and $2m to the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU).

The Stormers need all the money they can get. They recently raised cash to pay off debt and for a move across town to the Cape Town Stadium. Having an additional R100m may allow them to retain some of their top talent, but that cash injection for the controlling share of the franchise seems at the lower end of the valuation scale.

Whether MVM’s offer‚ which was made on July 8‚ will be accepted is moot. The clubs who make up the WPRFU are unlikely to sanction the deal as they have fastidiously held on to control of the organisation.

SA Rugby‚ on the other hand‚ is likely to countenance an equity deal as it will give one of their top affiliates greater financial independence.

Almost all the provincial rugby unions have for some time been in financial dire straits and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened matters.

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