Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has defended the government's move to acquire a strategic equity partner (SEP) for SAA, saying that his department had been transparent in communicating the milestones in the process to announce the preferred SEP for the national airline.
Gordhan said the announcement of the South African, blacked-owned Takatso Consortium as the preferred SEP had followed a rigorous, year-long process undertaken by the Department of Public Enterprises to identify a suitable SEP for SAA.
He said the process had commenced while SAA was under the control of the business rescue practitioners.
Gordhan said that in the process that led to the selection of the Takatso Consortium as the preferred SEP, they had received more than 30 expressions of interest for SAA and its subsidiaries among other steps undertaken leading to the selection process.
“There was also the appointment of a transaction adviser to independently assess the EOIs and develop a shortlist after an evaluation and the screening of each of the expressions of interest by the transaction advisor.
“There was the preparation of a shortlist, further evaluation of the shortlist and the choice of a preferred candidate for the SEP, with the appropriate exclusivity,” Gordhan said.
He said the announcement of Takatso as the SEP will then be followed by a due diligence process, first by the department into the consortium and then by the consortium into SAA.
“Following that, a purchase and sale agreement was negotiated and signed. This is exactly what the president explained. Cabinet approved the preferred SEP on 9 June 2021. We trust the above clarifies the matter,” Gordhan said.