Billionaires Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert now own 74% of Blue Bulls Company, which owns the Pretoria-based rugby franchise Blue Bulls.
Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital and Rupert’s Remgro each own 37% while the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) now owns the remaining 26%, according to an update on the club’s website on Friday.
The much-anticipated deal was reached during a meeting at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Thursday evening.
‘Privileged to have Motsepe’
Previously, Remgro and BBRU each owned 50% of the franchise. This means that they reduced their respective shares to allow a buy-in from Motsepe.
BBRU president Willem Strauss welcomed the deal, “We put a lot of effort into making this possible over the last few months, and I am proud to say that all the union committee members unanimously voted in favour of the deal.
“I firmly believe that private investors will add immense value to our beautiful game going forward. We are privileged and excited to have partners like Mr Motsepe in our corner.”
Motsepe is understood to have sought ownership of Blue Bulls to streamline its brand with that of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Second franchise controlled by private investors
Mamelodi Sundowns already play many of their home games at Loftus Versfeld, the Blue Bulls’ home ground.
In 2018, the colours of the Blue Bulls’ Super Rugby away jersey also matched those of Mamelodi Sundowns.
The deal means that Blue Bulls becomes South Africa’s second rugby franchise to be controlled by private investors. The first is Southern Kings.
Blue Bulls Company CEO Alfons Meyer was upbeat about the future of the franchise and its contribution to Pretoria’s communities.
He said, “I look forward to a host of synergies and opportunities that will be forged between us.
“With Mr Motsepe also owning soccer giants Mamelodi Sundowns, there is no doubt that a relationship like this will further enhance and entrench our vision to make Tshwane the sporting capital.”