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BCL gets more time for Arab deal

MBONGENI MGUNI
BCL lawyers in Court yesterday PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Lawyers representing BCL Ltd provisional liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren secured a 30-day extension of the liquidation process at the High Court yesterday. The extension is necessary for the finalisation of a deal with an Emirati firm.

Judge Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe granted the order, after lawyers for Dixon-Warren noted that there was no objection to their request. The order means the return date for BCL’s liquidation is now set for June 15, 2017.

The return date is the date on which the provisional liquidator should show cause before the High Court why the original provisional liquidation order of October 2016 should not be made final.

According to Dixon-Warren, final liquidation would trigger the winding up process, which includes holding meetings of creditors and the sale of assets, including a strip sale.

“Once the companies are in final liquidation the meeting of creditors can be held,” the provisional liquidator said in an explanatory January release. “By law there has to be two meetings of creditors. After the first meeting , the sale process will commence, but the conclusion of any sale will only be after the second meeting of creditors.” The latest extension is to allow Emirates Investment House more time to conclude a due diligence into BCL Ltd as well as Nkomati Mine, a

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South African nickel mine in which the local base metals group holds 50%.

The original return date of February 7 was extended to allow for the finalisation of the complex processes, which are likely to stick over the valuation of the Nkomati Mine stake.

Russian mega-group, Norilsk Nickel is suing both BCL Ltd and Government for $270 million says it is owed for selling the stake to BCL Ltd in 2013. While the Emirati firm is said to be willing to cover the debt, prevailing valuations of the stake are about $130 million due to nickel price fluctuations.

On Friday, Mmegi revealed that a deal was on the table in which Government has offered BCL Ltd to the Emirati firm for a symbolic $1, while the Arab investors in turn will take up all of BCL’s liabilities including the Nkomati complications.

“It’s a normal business practice as you will appreciate that BCL’s creditors together with the Nkomati stake is a substantial amount of money,” Minerals, Energy Security and Green Technology minister, Sadique Kebonang told Mmegi.



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