Remgro Sport Investments is set to call in a loan of nearly R44-million if the Western Province Rugby Football Union does not pay it back by 6 July.
The Stellenbosch-based company, a sub-division of Johann Rupert’s investment company Remgro, rescued the union from bankruptcy in 2016 with a loan to pay its staff and players. The union has, however, failed to pay back the money.
According to the Huffington Post, Remgro has now issued the union with a letter of demand, outlining its plans to retrieve what is owed. The company says it has ‘kindly attempted to reach an agreement with the WPRU in the spirit of collaboration’ and has been accommodating of the union’s troubles ‘for the past 18 months’.
Remgro will now use each and every legal remedy at its disposal without further notice to the union to recover the loan. The former benefactor reportedly intends to seize property owned by WP – Brookside in Claremont and the rugby complex at Montreal Road, Oranjezicht, in the high-demand residential City Bowl area – as security for the loan.
However, WP president Thelo Wakefield has rubbished the reports in a letter addressed to the union’s clubs in an attempt to alleviate their growing concern.
‘WP Rugby can confirm that former WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd shareholder Remgro has not recalled its loans and that WP Rugby is in regular contact with Remgro with regards to its outstanding indebtedness to Remgro. WP Rugby strongly denies that it is facing bankruptcy and that its creditors are closing in.’
WP Rugby’s business arm was placed into final liquidation by the Western Cape High court in 2016 after the union was slapped with an R276-million lawsuit by Aerios for reneging on an advertising rights contract with the company.
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