CAPE TOWN - The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) council has voted in favour of a new partnership with the Flyt Property Investment group.
In a media statement released following a Special General Council meeting on Tuesday, WPRFU president, Zelt Marais confirmed that clubs voted in favour of the deal with Flyt “by an overwhelming majority”.
WP now stands to receive a loan of R112 million from Dream World Investments – a company within the Flyt group – which will be used to pay off its outstanding debts to Remgro (R58m) and Investec (R50m).
The loan owed to Remgro was due on Tuesday, June 30, while the Investec advance must be repaid in 24 equal instalments over 24 months, with effect from July 1.
Marais also said the new agreement between the WPRFU and the Flyt group would allow them to “accelerate advanced negotiations with the City of Cape Town” to stage rugby matches at the Cape Town Stadium.
“It is envisaged that this will bring in an additional R23 million into the City’s coffers per annum, for the benefit of all Cape Town residents,” Marais said.
Flyt Property will now be a "development partner" – on a 50/50 basis – for the Newlands Stadium Grounds and also that of Brookside in Claremont.
The loan to Dream World, penned at the prime interest rate, must be repaid over a four-year period.
Marais also explained that bank guarantees for the loan repayments have already been obtained, subject to the ratification of the agreement by a Special General Meeting of the WPRFU on Wednesday 8 July 2020, and confirmed that the Council also approved a proposal that will see the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group incorporate a new company called Newlands DevCo.
Western Province boss Zelt Marais says they are in advanced negotiations with the City of Cape Town to stage rugby matches at the Cape Town Stadium.
Newlands Stadium will now be developed into a mixed-use facility of residential and office apartments.
“Importantly, unlike previous loan and redevelopment arrangements, the WPRFU will have a 50% share in all economic benefits derived from the future development of the site,” Marais said.
“The previous development agreement with Investec lapsed on 1 June 2020 due to suspensive conditions not being met.
“Unlike the previous agreement, this new agreement with Flyt Property Group will give the WPRFU a meaningful and equal stake in the proposed development.
“It is, therefore, a much better deal for the WPRFU and the future of rugby in the province, which the body of voters clearly recognise.”
Another new company will also be formed between the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group called Brookside DevCo, which will also be developed into mixed-use apartments.
This deal will give the WPRFU access to an estimated R40m in cash, plus 50% of development profits down the line.
“As the president of WPRFU, I have always acted in the best interests of the union, its members and the broader rugby community,” Marais said.
“This agreement will allow the union to unlock the value in its properties, so it can invest in the long-term development of clubs and players in the province.
“This bodes well for the sustainability of Western Province rugby going forward. We look forward to working with our development partners, Flyt Property Group.”