It’s a “sad-goodbye” to BCL multi-million liquidator

17 Jun 2019

BY KABELO SEITSHIRO

"Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)" is a song recorded by Canadian recording artist Celine Dion for her sixth English-language album - A New Day Has Come.

Lyrically, Dion’s song speaks about motherly love and fear of losing one's mother. Some few months ago, Nigel Dixon-Warren might have started singing similar lyrics but relating to his role as the liquidator of the BCL Limited mines. Warren has been at the helm of BCL Limited min since it was placed under provisional liquidation in October 2016.

Despite being reported to have raked millions of Pulas during the period he worked as a liquidator, Warren will at the end of next month – July 2019 say “goodbye” to BCL mine.

He leaves an unhappy man though. Key amongst his source of unhappiness is what he describes as “continued interference” in the administration of the estates by both the government of Botswana as well as the Master of the High Court.

“Both the Master of the High Court and the Government of Botswana have stated the relationship with me has irretrievably broken down,” says Warren.

The BCL mine together with other subsidiaries of the BCL group was put under liquidation more than three years back resulting in loss of thousands of jobs.

The liquidation process was however marred by what appears to be fallout between Eric Molale - Minerals Minister and Warren - the court appointed liquidator.

In February 2019 Molale - told Parliament that the government has launched a formal application with the High Court to have the BCL liquidator – Nigel Dixon-Warren removed from his position.

This week Warren said that the environment of adversity that is now apparent makes it appropriate that he no longer act as Liquidator.

He further revealed that the Master of the High Court and the Botswana government have since made it clear that the latter will not provide any further funding to BCL unless and until he resign as Liquidator and Provisional Liquidator respectively of BCL, Tati and BCLI.

“The lack of certainty of funding over the past 18 months has also had an impact on my ability to advance the winding up of the estates with many projects aimed at preparing the assets for disposal having stalled,’ he said.

INVESTIGATIONS ON-GOING….

While BCL Limited creditors and the markets wait the name of the new liquidator one thing is already clear - investigations into the commercial interest of the former mining giant will continue. The investigation entails a report on the failure of BCL mine including the conduct of management, company directors and other associated parties.

In what could be his last status report as a liquidator of BCL Limited– Warren this week highly recommended a look into BCL Limited’s much talked about Polaris II strategy as well as the formation of the Nkomati and Tati share Sale purchase agreements.

“The investigations are on-going and an assessment is being made as to what recoveries can be made and/or which contracts may be set aside. A detailed brief of the matters being investigated will be provided to the replacement liquidator. As creditors are aware the legal matters of BCL Group are numerous and complex. There are various legal actions pending,” said Warren.