Glasfit boss a good fit as Golden Lions' 49.9% shareholder
HAVING made a leap of faith in their previous choice of equity partner, the Golden Lions have now sourced a suitor already entrenched in their structures.
The Lions are firming up a new equity deal with Altmann Allers, the union's vice-president and owner of Glasfit.
Allers will take a 49.9% stake in the union and already his rise has drawn clear parallels with a former investor who helped create an empire at Ellis Park before it spectacularly unravelled in the late 1990s.
"No, I'm much better looking than Dr Louis Luyt," Allers quipped when reminded of the comparison.
"I am a reluctant investor who has no intention of having that kind of prolonged involvement. I've got my own business that keeps me busy and I'm active at my club, Pirates, and at school level."
Allers said he would source other investors once the deal was concluded.
"I will look at like-minded individuals and entities to join us. I know some people might wonder about BEE credentials, but those are the type of investors I will be looking at."
The Lions' equity deal with the BEE- compliant Guma Group, turned sour within six months of its consummation last November.
As first order of business, Allers insists the union has to adapt to its circumstances. Players wages, he feels, are disproportionate to local rugby franchises expenditure.
"We simply can't compete with the salaries paid in France. People have to be realistic. Players wages and professional rugby expenditure used to make up around 80% of total expenditure. That needs to be between 50 and 55%," said Allers.
"We also need to reposition the Ellis Park precinct as a centre of entertainment," he said.
Lions' president Kevin de Klerk expects the equity deal to be concluded in the coming weeks.
"A thorough audit is being conducted and we will cut dead wood where necessary."