Mmegi Online :: BCL ‘fatally insolvent,’ liquidator reports
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Thursday 18 January 2018, 13:00 pm.
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BCL ‘fatally insolvent,’ liquidator reports

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The provisional liquidator of BCL Ltd says the operations are “fatally insolvent”, cannot be reopened and will have to be sold separate or whole as early as July.
By Onalenna Kelebeile Wed 18 Jan 2017, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BCL ‘fatally insolvent,’ liquidator reports








Nigel Dixon-Warren says when he delivers his report to the High Court on February 7, he will be recommending that BCL Ltd, which includes BCL Mine, BCL Investments and Tati Nickel, be placed under final liquidation. Final liquidation rules out a reopening of the mines by government and points to a sale of assets.

It is still possible that an investor could come on board and purchase the whole BCL group or individual assets such as Tati or the smelter.

Addressing the media here yesterday afternoon, Dixon-Warren broke his silence on the issues and said there was no hope of BCL opening in a few months.

“There is even no intention to restart operations even after the first meeting of creditors as the companies are insolvent and there are no resources available to finance operations. There are even no offers made yet.

“Even if a buyer can be secured, it would take him a period of about 12 to 18 months to commence the mining operations,” Dixon-Warren said.

He said it was not possible that the base metal group’s creditors could be paid by the end of February as many had hoped.

“At the moment we do not know BCL’s creditors yet until they formally submit their claims for assessment,” he said.

BCL owes various creditors who include the Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation, as well as banks, up to P1 billion. Of the 6,000 or so workers under BCL Ltd, the vast majority were paid their terminal benefits before

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Christmas. Dixon-Warren said approximately 180 had not been paid “but these are mainly those that did not attend their consultation to agree and sign off their terminal benefits”.

The future of the group lies with investors buying it whole or in part and creditors agreeing to the sale terms.

In December, Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy  Security minister, Sadique Kebonang revealed that several international investors had expressed interest in the BCL group.

“There has been interest in the assets of the three companies from a number of parties,” Dixon-Warren said.

“The interest has been in some or all of the assets and has been from local and overseas parties. I have met with a number of parties and corresponded with others.

“However, the expressed interest has not led to any formal offers.”

Should the High Court place BCL Ltd under final liquidation, the first meeting of creditors will take place in April where creditors will have an opportunity to prove their claims and also nominate the final liquidator.

The second and final creditors’ meeting takes place three to six months after the first and creditors will receive a report on the assets and guide the liquidator on the sale of the assets.

Norilsk Nickel, the Russian giant battling with BCL Ltd over a botched P3 billion deal, is yet to submit a claim for assessment.

“It is not a creditor at the moment because we have not received any claim yet. Once they submit it will be assessed,” Dixon-Warren said.

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