Gupta family empire crumbles
Johannesburg - In a bizarre twist, a former Gupta company is taking on another of the family’s companies in a bid to recover R4 million in unpaid rent and services.
Business rescue practitioners for Tegeta Exploration and Resources - which is under business rescue - have filed for the liquidation of Oakbay Investments in the high court in Johannesburg.
The application, lodged on Monday, states that Oakbay rented office space from Tegeta at its Sandton offices in October, 2013. Oakbay apparently does not have a business address or a legal entity where the sheriff of the court could serve the notice filed in the high court.
Tegeta, through business rescue practitioners Robert Knoop and Louis Klopper, has given Oakbay executives five days to contact their lawyers, Smit Sewgoolam Incorporated.
Oakbay has also been given 15 days to indicate if they intend to oppose the liquidation application. Oakbay executives Ashu Chawla and Ronica Ragavan could not be reached for comment.
Tegeta was one of the Gupta-owned companies that was placed under business rescue last year.
Knoop, in his founding affidavit, said Tegeta entered into a lease and service agreement with Oakbay. Oakbay rented office space from Tegeta, which also provided them with office facilities. This came at a cost of R150 000 a month.
Knoop said the parties also agreed to escalate the payment by 10% per annum for the duration of the lease agreement.
“Oakbay Investments is indebted to Tegeta in the sum of R1 380 000 in respect of outstanding rental and services rendered by Tegeta for the period of June, 2018 and January, 2019,” Knoop said.
He also said Oakbay failed to pay the annual fee increment amounts since the agreement was signed in October, 2013. “Oakbay is therefore further indebted to Tegeta in the sum of R2 416 554.90 in respect of the escalated portion of monthly fee payable in terms of the agreement,” Knoop said.
He said since December, notices were served on Oakbay, but the company allegedly failed to pay.
Knoop said their liquidation application was justified.
“I have also been advised that Oakbay is deemed unable to pay its debt as contemplated in terms of the company laws of the Republic of South Africa and is liable to be wound up.”