Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media

* Article has been edited

Johannesburg - Dozens of mining assets and some equipment belonging to a Gupta-owned company will go under the hammer next week as part of efforts to raise more than R45 million to pay some of the family’s creditors.

The equipment, owned by Gupta-owned Confident Concepts - which is under business rescue - is used at the family’s Optimum Coal Mine and Shiva Uranium’s Brakfontein and Kwagga sites in Mpumalanga, and Shiva Uranium in Klerksdorp, North West.

”Park Village Auctions and Go-Industry DoveBid SA are expecting to realise in excess of R45m for the assets belonging to Confident Concepts at next Thursday’s auction,” the auction firms told The Star yesterday. The auctioneers said they were yet to be instructed on more assets belonging to Optimum Coal Mine and Shiva Uranium.

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The assets being auctioned are those which business rescue practitioners have instructed Park Village Auctions and GoIndustry DoveBid SA to dispose of.

“Assets in the remaining companies (under the Oakbay umbrella) would need to take instruction from creditors and the business rescue practitioners on the best way to dispose of them and achieve the highest returns,” the auctioneers said.

They added that the sale of assets was being done on a tender basis in the interests of transparency and that Park Village Auctions and Go- Industry DoveBid were awaiting further instruction. The assets to be sold individually or as a whole include 31 articulated dump trucks, nine excavators, six loaders, five tipper trucks, three rigid dumper trucks, two graders and jaw-crushing plants.

Confident Concepts is among the companies through which the Guptas owned their prized properties and offices in Joburg. The business rescue practitioner involved in the sale of Confident Concepts assets reserves the right not to accept the highest or any other offer until next Thursday afternoon.

Potential buyers can visit the sites in Mpumalanga and North West to view the assets and equipment from tomorrow until Monday.

The Shiva Uranium Mine, which is situated in Hartbeesfontein, outside Klerksdorp, had been owned by the Guptas since April 2010 and November last year, and it was among a group of 12 companies owned by the family that were placed under business rescue by their parent company, Oakbay Group of Companies.

Business rescue is applicable to companies and close corporations in financial distress or trading in insolvent circumstances. A business rescue practitioner helps to restructure and reorganise the business in order for it to be stable and profitable.

On Thursday last week, two business rescue practitioners, Louis Klopper and Kurt Knoop, who are accused of having links to the Guptas, withdrew from a deal to sell Shiva Uranium.

The court accepted the pair’s resignations and allowed the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to appoint senior business rescue practitioner Cloete Murray to take over the rescue and sale of the mine. The court ordered the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission to appoint a second business rescue practitioner to assist Murray.

On Monday night, Murray declined to comment, refusing to discuss the matter with The Star.

The auctioneers said Klopper and Knoop’s resignations related only to Shiva Uranium and did not affect the sale of Confident Concepts’ assets.

Their resignations came after more companies submitted additional affidavits in support of the IDC’s main application that they be barred from selling the mine as they allegedly had links with the Guptas.

The Guptas’ woes started when several court applications challenged Klopper and Knoop’s impartially.

Last week, Klopper and Knoop said they decided to resign over demands placed on their “resources and time” and other “litigious matters”.

The Star