U.S. Consortium Buys Majority Stake in South African Rugby Team

New York-based MVM Holdings LLC became the first U.S. company to invest in South African rugby when it took a majority stake in The Sharks franchise.

MVM, an investment consortium headed by lawyer Marco Masotti, entered into an agreement to purchase 51% of The Sharks, based in the Indian Ocean city of Durban, the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union said in a statement on its website on Thursday. The union and Supersport International will retain the remaining 49%, according to the statement, which didn’t give details on the terms of the deal.

The Sharks won South Africa’s provincial championship three times in the past decade, most recently in 2018. The team will be one of four South African franchises taking part in the Pro16 league together with top teams from Scotland, Wales and Ireland this year.

U.S. Consortium Buys Majority Stake in South African Rugby Team

South Africa’s national rugby team is the current world champion after it beat England in the finals of the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019. The U.S. qualified for that event for the first time since it started in 1991.

Masotti was in talks with the Western Province Rugby Union in Cape Town last year, but they fell through without an agreement, news website Netwerk24 reported in July.

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