Business

Warren Thompson
2 minute read
23 Jan 2018
8:54 am

Mayfair Speculators still negotiating with banks

Warren Thompson

To which it owes over R1.2 billion.

In what appears to be an about-turn in its dealings with its creditors, Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators has returned to the table with the three financial institutions that had loaned it money.

Last December, Moneyweb broke the story about how the three financial institutions – Absa Bank, Investec and Sanlam – that were collectively owed over R1.2 billion by Mayfair, approached the Western Cape High Court to have the company liquidated after Mayfair advised that it was “technically and commercially insolvent.

In response to questions we put to it, Absa stated: “There are ongoing talks with Mayfair Speculators. At this stage, no settlement has been reached. The matter is still on the court roll and due for a hearing on February 8.”

Investec said the following: “The bank’s exposure to Mayfair was taken into consideration and included in the information provided in our Sens announcement in December 2017. The details of these discussions and matters are bound by client confidentiality.”

Through documents sourced by Moneyweb, we understand Investec’s exposure to be in the region of R250 million. Absa is owed R226 million plus interest, while Sanlam Capital Markets is owed about R800 million.

Part of the facilities made available to Mayfair had been secured by shares in Steinhoff, the value of which almost completely collapsed following the resignation of Jooste on December 6 2017, and notification by the company that it was investigating accounting irregularities. The bankers later learnt in a meeting on December 8, that assets worth about R1.5 billion had been transferred out of Mayfair Speculators, to its parent company Mayfair Holdings, through a dividend in specie in August.

This, together with the fact that Mayfair had approached and received an extension of its current facility with Investec at the end of November to the tune of R95 million, just days before Jooste resigned from Steinhoff, led Absa to accuse Jooste and Stefan Potgieter (the other director of Mayfair) of “naked fraud”.

At the time of going to press, we were unable to receive comment from Sanlam. Stefan Potgieter declined to comment.

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