Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert are building a Bulls empire for Jake White in South Africa.
The business magnates’ respective companies – African Rainbow Capital and Remgro – are considering acquiring a 74% stake in the Pumas, which will further strengthen the hand of the Bulls coach.
Rupert and Motsepe have had a controlling interest in the Blue Bulls Company since the end of 2019, offering the Bulls financial stability in a tough economic climate as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors.
In the process, they enabled White to attract top players such as Johan Goosen, Bismarck du Plessis and Marcell Coetzee to Pretoria.
According to City Press’ sister publication Rapport, Bulls president Willem Strauss and Blue Bulls Company CEO Edgar Rathbone were spotted in Nelspruit recently.
They and Pumas CEO Marius van Rensburg spent time together, including having a business lunch.Strauss is a familiar face in Nelspruit, as he was Pumas CEO for about 10 years, and he understands the inner workings of the Lowveld team.
According to informed sources, negotiations between the Bulls, the business magnates and the Pumas are going well, though a number of boxes still have to be ticked before the new shareholding deal is finalised.
The shareholding will not only help White, but also be a win-win situation for Van Rensburg and the Pumas’ Jimmy Stonehouse.
White will be able to make a player such as Richard Kriel, who is regarded as talented but has not yet made the weekly 23, available to Stonehouse.
This way, the Bulls will be able to retain some of their leading young talent in South Africa by offering them the chance to play Currie Cup rugby under Stonehouse for the Pumas, for example.
With Rupert and Motsepe in their corner, Van Rensburg and his team will now be able to take the step from a domestic franchise to an international outfit.
Stonehouse’s team was unlucky and narrowly failed to make it to the Currie Cup semifinals this year.
The latest developments with the Bulls’ shareholding could improve his depth to become one of the big boys.
The Lowveld, the hub of the country’s subtropical fruit industry, has a wealth of talent that can be developed with the ambitious plan by the Bulls and their investors.
Rapport has previously reported that the Sharks and their partners, which include the US consortium MVM Holdings, have plans to buy Border.
MVM has already bought a controlling stake in the Sharks, who had earlier made an official request to SA Rugby to buy the controlling stake in the Border Rugby Union.