Business / Business News

Hanna Ziady
2 minute read
15 Jul 2016
12:51 pm

JSE considers suspending Guptas’ Oakbay

Hanna Ziady

Oakbay has missed the deadline to find a new sponsor after Sasfin terminated services.

Oakbay Resources and Energy, owned by the Gupta family, may see its JSE listing suspended after it failed to secure another sponsor within a 30-day deadline, following Sasfin Capital’s decision to withdraw its services as sponsor on June 1.

Despite utilising its “best endeavours since Sasfin’s resignation to find a replacement company”, Oakbay has been unable to do so within 30 business days, as required by the JSE, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

“This is despite the company remaining compliant with the JSE listing requirements,” it said.

In a statement published almost simultaneously, the JSE said it was considering the suspension of Oakbay, but had afforded the company the opportunity to make written representations to “show cause why the suspension of the listing” should not be effected.

It is an “integral and material part” of listings requirements that issuers at all times have a sponsor, the JSE said. The sponsor’s responsibilities include ensuring that their clients are complying with listing requirements on an ongoing basis.

In its statement, Oakbay pointed out that it has appointed a new JSE-accredited auditor – after KPMG terminated auditing services to the company on April 1 – and has also “largely stabilised” its transactional banking capabilities, after a number of South Africa’s large banks withdrew services from it.

SizweNtsalubaGobodo is Oakbay’s new auditor, while the Indian state-owned Bank of Baroda is providing it with banking services.

On April 8, Oakbay Resources announced that its non-executive chairman, Atul Gupta, and CEO, Varun Gupta, had resigned from all group companies with immediate effect.

On the same day, it announced that Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Duduzane Zuma had resigned as a non-executive director of Shiva Uranium, a major subsidiary of the company.

The resignations were decided following a “sustained political attack on the company, and the concern that the jobs and livelihoods of nearly one thousand employees would be at immediate risk as a result of the outgoing directors’ association with the Company”, Oakbay explained at the time.

Oakbay’s FD, Trevor Scott, is currently acting chief executive.

“The Company continues to proactively and positively engage with the JSE with regard to the process of appointing a JSE accredited sponsor, and shareholders will be advised accordingly with regard to any further developments in this regard,” Oakbay said.

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