EMBATTLED sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has informed its shareholders that the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) has withdrawn its previous ruling that it exempted Magister from the potential future obligation to make a mandatory offer to Tongaat shareholders as a consequence of its partially underwriting Tongaat Hulett’s proposed rights offer.
According to Tongaat Hulett, the TRP withdrew the ruling following its investigation and issued a judgment on Friday, June 3, 2022.
The TRP investigation focused on whether a third party who bought shares in Tongaat Hulett following the announcement of the rights offer was related to and, therefore, deemed a concerned party of Magister.
Magister is registered in Mauritius and linked to Zimbabwe’s controversial Rudland family and is seeking to invest up to R2 billion into struggling Tongaat Hulett.
Tongaat was not a party to the share acquisition, nor were adverse findings made against Tongaat in the TRP ruling, it said.
Magister has applied to the Takeover Special Committee for a hearing regarding the TRP’s ruling.
“THL resolved not to appeal the TRP ruling and will abide by the decision to be made by the TSC pursuant to Magister’s request for a hearing,” Tongaat said.
The sugar producer reminded its shareholders that the transaction with Magister remained subject to the fulfilment by June 30, 2022 of certain conditions precedent including a TRP exemption to Magister from the potential future obligation to make a mandatory offer, the consent of THL’s South African lenders and approval from the Zimbabwean competition authorities.
“Irrespective of the outcome, THL remains committed to a recapitalisation, and continues to engage proactively with a range of stakeholders on a sustainable capital structure for the THL group. Additionally, recapitalising Tongaat will protect more than half a million livelihoods,” Tongaat said.
The operations of the company remain uninterrupted.