Sunday, September 27, 2020

Pula Steel liquidator tells creditors to “hang in there”

By Victor Baatweng

Pula Steel Casting and Manufacturers (Pty) Limited liquidator – John Hinchliffe has reportedly told creditors of the liquidated Selebi Phikwe based steel company to “hang in there” while he charters a new path.

This comes after the preferred bidder (a former banker ÔÇô name known to this publication) reportedly failed to pay the dues for the plant on an agreed date ÔÇô 29 March 2019.

Pula Steel creditors include amongst them former shareholders ÔÇô the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Wealth Creations, Verma family and BCL limited (liquidated).

In a letter to the said creditors this past Monday ÔÇô titled “Update on ongoing tender process” and seen by The Telegragh, Hinchliffe informed Pula Steel creditors that he is not in a position to announce the name of the successful bidder and the value of their bid.

“Non-disclosure agreements with the bidder are still in force and therefore prevent such announcement. If the bidding is to be re-opened for any reason, such information may prejudice the process”, reads part of the Hinchliffe letter t the creditors.

Hinchliffe also admitted to the creditors through the letter that the process of selling the country’s pioneering steel plant ought to have been finalised by 29 March 2019 but has since been delayed.

“The successful bidder has however not as yet effected payment as required in terms of the tender document. Pula Steel is consequently considering its position”, reads part of the letter sent to creditors on Monday.

Still in the same letter, Hinchliffe informed the creditors that he has since received advice on the way forward from the technical advisors but is awaiting approval of the Master of High Court before proceeding.

“I expect a decision to be made during the course of next week. I will therefore advise in due course of the decision reached”, Hinchliffe said.

A South African company – WH Auctioneers was handpicked to manage the process on behalf of the liquidator ÔÇô John Hinchliffe Consultants in October 2018.

However, the process of identifying the ultimate buyer of the Plant seems to be going at a snail pace. The Telegragh has been informed that as part of the tender specifications, the winning bidder was to pay 20 percent of the winning bid within a month.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.