JOHANNESBURG - Saudi Arabia has approached South Africa about buying struggling state-owned defence firm Denel, Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday.
“I do know that there have been overtures by Saudi Arabia to buy a stake in our ailing Denel. I do not know what the outcome of those negotiations will be when it gets to the NCACC (National Conventional Arms Control Committee),” she told a media briefing.
Saudi Arabian Military Industries’ (SAMI) chief executive Andreas Schwer said last week he expected to conclude the first partnership deals with South African companies by the end of the year, though he would not identify those initial partners.
South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises, which oversees Denel, acknowledged the talks with SAMI but said it was too early to give details of any potential partnership arrangement.
The Paramount Group, a privately held South African company, has already said it is in talks with SAMI.