Rupert's Remgro to sell shares in English club

2018-04-03 12:58
Johann Rupert (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African businessman Johann Rupert's company, Remgro, is set to sell its 50% stake in English club Saracens.

The Times reported on Monday that Remgro, which co-owns Saracens with chairperson Nigel Wray, will move on after a 10-year involvement with the club.

Rupert's Remgro came on board in 2008 and his initial aim was to provide an opportunity for South Africans wanting to play abroad and still be selected for the Springboks.

During Remgro’s involvement at Saracens, the club experienced its most successful period, winning the English Premiership three times - 2011, 2015 and 2016 - as well as two European Champions Cup titles - 2016 and 2017.

Despite their European success in the past two seasons, the club lost £2.74m last year and £3.27m the year before, with Rupert telling The Times it was time for him to sell up.

Rupert, rated by Forbes business magazine as the third wealthiest man in Africa with a net worth of $6.9bn, is selling largely because his 50% stake in Saracens is owned by a public company of which he is chairperson and a shareholder.

"Remgro is a public company," Rupert said.

"Is it therefore right to support a rugby club? One should not be using public shareholders' money for your own loves."

Rupert will leave having written off debts of £25m.

The South African said his stake would be bought up by Wray.

According to AFP, Saracens are more the norm than the exception in making a loss in the Premiership with last season's champions Exeter Chiefs the only club to have turned a profit (£1.14m) last term.

Saracens, knocked out of the Champions Cup by Irish province Leinster on Sunday, is home to the likes of England flyhalf Owen Farrell and star lock Maro Itoje, but Rupert's dream of it becoming a bedrock of the Springboks side never materialised.

Remgro, meanwhile, last year also pulled the plug on cash-strapped Western Province Rugby, which forced the union to pay back loans of more than R40 million.

Read more on:    saracens  |  johann rupert  |  rugby


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