High Court clears path for Bluthorn creditors

Presiding: Justice Leburu PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Presiding: Justice Leburu PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The High Court has ordered that the liquidation of the Bluthorn "family of companies" proceed, moving creditors closer to recovering more than P200 million owed after a unit trust investment scheme collapsed.

Justice Michael Leburu tossed out a challenge by B Thorn (Pty) Ltd which opposed liquidator, Kopanang Thekiso’s application to bundle all the companies into a single liquidation and form a pool from which creditors’ claims could be settled. B Thorn, owned by Eune Engelbrecht and Kelebogile Sibisibi, wholly owns Bluthorn Procurement Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Prime Employee Benefits (Pty) Ltd, two companies at the heart of the saga.

Engelbrecht and Sibisibi also own Bluthorn Holdings, the majority shareholder in Bluthorn Fund Managers, the firm which ran the unit trust investment scheme. Most of the investors in the unit trusts were district councils, who encountered problems when their investments were not paid after reaching maturity. Previous investigations by a statutory manager engaged by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) found that investments made into Bluthorn Fund Managers (BFM) had been irregularly diverted into loans across the family of companies, in some cases appearing to fund the personal appetites of key shareholders.

Editor's Comment
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