-Saracens' 32 million pound takeover by consortium completed
Saracens' 32 million pound takeover by consortium, including Francois Pienaar, completed. Photo: Saracens

Reuters – A consortium of investors including South African World Cup-winning Springbok rugby captain, Francois Pienaar, has completed a £32-million (approx. R650-million) takeover of Saracens, the English Premiership club announced.

Francois Pienaar Saracens
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – Heineken Cup – Ulster vs Saracens – Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, Britain – January 19, 2001 Saracens Coach Francois Pienaar REUTERS/Action Images/File Photo

Pienaar is a former Saracens rugby player. The club, which is based in North London, is popular with South Africans abroad, and are five-time Premiership champions. The club was relegated at the end of the 2019-20 season as punishment for multiple salary cap breaches. But they won promotion back in the next season.

Others in the consortium include Marco Masotti, an owner of KZN Sharks rugby team; as well as club chairman Neil Golding, Dominic Silvester and Paul O’Shea, both from Enstar Group (a global insurance group) and Nick Leslau, the chairman and chief executive of Prestbury Investment Holdings. Nigel Wray, who was the club’s owner for more than 25 years, retains a “significant minority shareholding”.

The club announced the takeover in October and confirmed it had been completed on Wednesday.

“The board of Saracens Group Holdings Limited is pleased to announce the completion of the previously announced transaction regarding the refinancing of the group and the acquisition of a controlling stake in the group by Kimono House Limited,” Saracens said in a statement on its website.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru)