Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA
Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA

The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has confirmed it is continuing talks with the US investment consortium MVM Holdings.

The WPRFU said in a statement the parties met on Friday “to continue to negotiate a proposed deal that has been under discussion for the past four months”.

Western Province Professional Rugby chairman Ebrahim Rasool and WPRFU president Zelt Marais met with Marco Masotti, MVM consortium head and Michael Yormark‚ the president of Roc Nation and a member of the consortium, to continue the discussions.

“We had a very productive meeting of the minds and cleared up all the misunderstandings we had before‚” Marais said in the statement‚ without explaining what those misunderstandings were.

WP‚ in earlier media statements, appeared lukewarm to MVM’s advances and was said to be reluctant to relinquish its majority stake in the organisation.

“WPRFU agreed a negotiations framework with MVM that is based on mutual respect and appreciation‚” Marais said. “We are pursuing an investment partner that will help us to strengthen Western Province Rugby and make it the leading global brand that retains and attracts the best talent.”

Masotti said of the meeting that it was “very positive and we are happy to be continuing our negotiations. “We are confident we can reach an amicable deal that serves the best interest of all parties — including the players‚ the fans‚ the clubs and broader community.

“Most importantly‚ we are working towards a true partnership with the WPRFU so we can leverage our investment and our expertise to further develop a fantastic global brand. Furthermore‚ we wish to retract everything that was communicated through the media over the last four months.”

MVM had indicated the proposed $6m (R93m) deal for a majority share in WP Rugby would be broken down so that $4m is earmarked for the professional arm of WP Rugby while $2m would be ploughed into the union. When details of the offer first emerged four months ago the $6m offer was the equivalent of R100m, but the rand has since firmed.

The parties did not indicate any deadline for the deal to be concluded.

It is not clear either if Roc Nation‚ with whom Springbok and Stormers captain Siya Kolisi signed in 2019‚ will extend its footprint in rugby.

Roc Nation is a US talent agency owned by music mogul Jay Z.

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