File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Airlink believes creditors 'won't be able to make informed decision on SAA rescue plan'

By IOL reporter Time of article published Jun 24, 2020

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Airlink said while it respects the South  Gauteng High Court’s decision to allow tomorrow’s meeting of SAA creditors to proceed, it is deeply disappointed.

Having been frustrated by the business rescue practitioners and their resistance to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act, said Airlink chief executive and managing director Rodger Foster in a statement on Wednesday, "we fail to understand how creditors can be expected to make an informed decision when asked to vote on the plan at tomorrow’s meeting".

Last year Airlink carried almost 2 million passengers on more than  63 000 flights. It has the largest fleet of commercial jetliners in southern
Africa, which operate on 55 routes to 39 destinations in nine African countries.
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“We had sought to interdict the meeting and to have the SAA business rescue process  stopped on the basis that the proposed rescue plan is implausible, treats creditors  unequally, is opaque in explaining how it will be funded and that it is not the product of a  truly independent business rescue process.

" Although government has recently restated its commitment to SAA, we were left with no  alternative but to take legal action, having been frustrated by the business rescue  practitioners and their resistance to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act. 

"Given  these factors, we fail to understand how creditors can be expected to make an informed  decision when asked to vote on the plan at tomorrow’s meeting. We cannot reconcile that  the process to date is what is anticipated in the Companies Act,” said  Foster.

"Airlink will vote against the implementation of the plan in its current form in the absence of  answers to the raft of queries that we have raised, and we will seek to convince SAA’s  business rescue practitioners to revert to their original mandate, as defined in the
Companies Act, which requires them to produce a rescue plan in the best interests of all  creditors, and not favour certain creditors as well as the shareholder over the others.

"We also note recent legal opinions expressed in the media, which raise questions about the  fairness and legality of the voting process insofar as:

* L enders being afforded secured creditor status, when their loans have been  guaranteed by the government.

* H olders of unflown SAA tickets purchased in the “pre-commencement” (ie. before 6  December 2019, which was when SAA was placed in business rescue) who have not  been recognised as creditors and are therefore unable to vote.

IOL

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