Patrice Motsepe buys major stake in Blue Bulls
The founder and executive chairperson of African Rainbow Minerals and president of Mamelodi Sundowns has sealed the deal and now owns equal majority shares of the Blue Bulls Company.
He has acquired a 37% stake in the Pretoria-based company. The Blue Bulls Company said it was excited to welcome the 57-year-old, who originally hails from Ga-Rankuwa.
The deal, which had been much talked about and anticipated, was concluded on Thursday night in a meeting at Loftus Versfeld.
The new structure will mean that existing shareholders Remgro and the Blue Bulls Rugby Union reduced their previously equal percentage of shareholding from 50% each to 37% and 26% respectively, allowing Motsepe to take up the remaining 37%.
The president of the union, Willem Strauss, expressed his delight with the new signing.
“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.
"The benefits of this deal are not only to the company at the professional level, it will also make a positive impact on our amateur rugby, at schools, clubs and development levels. We are privileged and excited to have partners like Mr Motsepe in our corner,” he said.
Since the news broke, social media has been abuzz with interesting and amusing commentary. Some suggested that he buy Loftus Versfeld since it was the home ground for Sundowns and the Bulls.
Other suggested that he buy the Union Buildings since he was buying all things Pretoria. And others called for him to be the next president of the country.
On a more serious note, some suggested that the deal was a move in the right direction to galvanise more black interest in the perceived white sport. It was believed that the many Sundowns supporters would support the Bulls, which would allow for more unity and integration.
Alfons Meyer, the chief executive of the company, said he was looking forward to the synergies that the new partnership brought.
“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 Pretoria the country's sporting capital,” he said.