TROUBLED sugar producer Tongaat Hulett’s future once more hangs in the balance.
This after the group’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) yesterday alerted “affected persons of Tongaat Hulett” on the JSE Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) that an urgent application was launched in the High Court of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Local Division, Durban, that the the company and the BRPs be interdicted on an interim basis from implementing or taking any further steps relating to the implementation of the Vision Business Rescue Plan.
Last month Tongaat Hulett’s lenders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Vision Consortium’s bid to take southern Africa’s biggest sugar producer out of business rescue, ending a period of uncertainty for the more than 100 year old company and its employees.
The Vision Consortium is made up of entrepreneurial families led by both South African and Zimbabwean Robert Gumede and Rute Moyo, and international businessmen Amre Youness and Nauman Khan.
Tongaat Hulett was placed in business rescue in October 2022 when it emerged that key former executives had allegedly manipulated accounts for years, and after new management failed to right the group after difficulties experienced through the Covid pandemic.
The SENS statement said ysterday, “A notice had been issued in accordance with section 128 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008.”
The BRPs said late on January 26, 2024, an urgent application had been launched under case number D1103/2024, by Mohini Singari Naidoo T/A Powertrans Sales & Services against the company, the the BRPs and the Vision parties (the application).
In the application, Powertrans has sought that, inter alia:
- in Part A of the application, the Company and the BRPs be interdicted on an interim basis from implementing or taking any further steps relating to the implementation of the Vision Business Rescue Plan. Part A of the application would be heard on February 2, 2024; and in Part B of the application, the business rescue plan adopted in relation to the meeting of creditors held on January 11, 2024 be declared unlawful and set aside.
“The company and the BRPs have opposed the application. The Vision parties have also opposed the application,” the statement said.