American consortium buys controlling stake in Sharks franchise

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KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union president Brian Van Zyl.PHOTO: gallo images
KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union president Brian Van Zyl.PHOTO: gallo images

The KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union (KZNRU) has confirmed that the American-based consortium MVM Holdings has acquired the controlling share of the Durban-based franchise, Sharks.

The news was confirmed in a statement on Thursday and the union described the development as a move designed to bolster the franchise’s ambitions of becoming a global force in world rugby.

MVM Holdings spearheaded by Marco Masotti purchased a 51 percent majority stake in the Sharks at an undisclosed amount.

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This move means the current shareholders, KZNRU and SuperSport International, will hold the remaining 49 percent of the franchise.

“MVM Holdings brings significant finance, sports and management expertise and resources to the Sharks franchise,” said KZNRU in a statement.

“With the international rugby landscape poised to undergo transformational change in the coming years, investors have identified rugby as an attractive opportunity and invested in some of Europe’s leading rugby competitions,” said KZNRU.

“It is expected that the enlarged Pro16 competition will accelerate this trend. Navigation of the fast-changing rugby business requires a diverse and strong shareholder group who can implement a strategic plan and provide the resources to ensure that the Sharks become the premier rugby brand in the world.”
KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union

Masotti, who is based in New York and leads MVM Holdings, grew up in Amanzimtoti and is a life-long Sharks fan.

“The Sharks have a deep and wonderful history that can translate into a formidable global rugby brand,” said Masotti.

“Our investment is designed to facilitate the expansion of the franchise through deep relationships with business people, financing sources and other sporting codes.

“We believe that rugby provides a unique platform for character and community building. We intend to shine a global light on the city of Durban and create opportunities for players from diverse backgrounds to become international stars.”

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KZNRU president Brian Van Zyl expressed confidence that the partnership has come at the right time and with the right partners for the Sharks.

“In all our dealings with Marco Masotti, it was abundantly clear that his consortium, together with SuperSport, will bring not only greater commercial savviness but also international ties that will result in the Sharks becoming one of the most recognised global sports brands.

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