A consortium of black businessmen from the Eastern Cape has acquired a controlling interest in the Kings franchise.
SA Rugby confirmed on Friday that a 74% shareholding has been sold to a company called The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World, while the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) now own 26% of the shares.
The owners of GRC are Loyiso Dotwana, Gary Markson, Rory Stear, Kenny Govender and Vuyo Zitumane.
SA Rugby took control of the Kings in November 2015, when the EPRU ran into financial trouble, until recently, when the deal to transfer ownership and control over to the consortium was completed following the conclusion of agreement on commercial terms.
Dotwana, who is the head of the consortium, says they are focused and determined to deliver success.
‘We have followed a rigorous process to take control of the franchise, but we have been single-minded throughout: that bringing ownership of the Kings into local hands will be good for the team and good for the region,’ he said.
‘We are rugby people who understand the Eastern Cape, the passion of the people for rugby and just how much a successful Southern Kings team would mean to this region.’
EPRU president André Rademan welcomed the takeover and believes the fact that the union has retained a 26% share in the franchise will ensure continuity for rugby in the region.
‘It is essential that the continuum between school, club, provincial and franchise rugby remains open, and this new arrangement assures that,’ he said.
‘It has been a challenging three years for the rugby in the Eastern Cape, but the establishment of a new EPRU board, and now the local acquisition of the Kings franchise means that we can look to the future with real excitement and anticipation.’