NATIONAL NEWS - SA Express’s anchor investor was supposed to provide the balance of the R50 million purchase price of the airline last week, but this has failed to materialise, according to the airline’s liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara.
The investor’s failure to meet the deadline to provide the bank guarantee means the airline faces final liquidation.
Ndyamara told Moneyweb that the required proof of funding from the anchor investor has not been received.
Instead, what was received by the Thursday deadline were some “unsigned [Microsoft] Word documents”.
“I do not recognise that document as a bank guarantee and we have not received the bank guarantee,” he said.
SA Express, which has been under provisional liquidation since April last year, is set to be owned by worker-owned entity Fly-SAX after the entity was chosen as the preferred bidder in October.
Despite the unambiguous statement by the liquidator, Fly-SAX is still confident it can get the airline off the ground.
It contends that the unnamed anchor investor has provided the R26 million required to finalise the sale of the state-owned airline.
‘Bridging’ finance request
In a statement, Fly-SAX spokesperson Thabsile Sikakane said the entity has requested that the provisional liquidator raise the required working capital by using “the provided bank guarantee as [an] underwritten bank guarantee to bridge the third source of funding [crowdfunding] for working capital”.
“This is only possible if the shares of SA Express are transferred to Fly-SAX,” she said.
“This process would enable us to meet the requirements which are set as conditions to be eligible to be listed on [the] Uprise Africa Equity Crowdfunding Platform.”
The entity has already secured roughly R24 million from a sale of assets that were auctioned off last year.