Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Aug 2020
2:31 pm

Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters’ bid could rescue Phumelela and SA horseracing

Citizen Reporter

The MOD offer is contingent on MOD acquiring key Phumelela horse racing assets both locally and internationally.

Revered trainer Wendy Whitehead saddles three runners in Race 6 at the Greyville Polytrack meeting on Wednesday. Picture: iStock

After a thorough and competitive bidding process, Phumelela business rescue practitioner (BRP), John Evans, has selected Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters’ (MOD) post-commencement finance offer of R550 million to present to Phumelela creditors for approval.

Evans presented his preferred business rescue plan to creditors for approval on 18 August.

The MOD offer is contingent on MOD acquiring key Phumelela horse racing assets both locally and internationally.

Mary Slack and Jessica Jell, long-time supporters of horse racing and breeding in South Africa, along with the Restructuring Task Team (RTT), believe a successful MOD bid is the best outcome to develop a long term and sustainable industry for all horse racing stakeholders.

The adoption of the business rescue plan will allow the BRP time to affect an orderly sale of Phumelela assets (assets other than those which MOD are acquiring conditional to their R550m financing noted above) which BRP believes delivers the best outcome for Phumelela employees, creditors, and shareholders.

MOD is acquiring key Phumelela horse racing assets. These include Turffontein, Fairview and Vaal racecourses, tote licences and infrastructure in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and the Free State, and key international South African horse racing product distribution assets.

MOD, represented by the RTT, have been engaging with Phumelela over recent months to secure a safe-passage for horse racing in South Africa.

RTT spokesperson Charles Savage said: “We are very pleased with the plan presented by John Evans. Mary Slack and Jessica Jell have a long history of horse racing and breeding in South Africa and they have a strong desire to secure the Phumelela racing assets for the immediate benefit of South African horse racing, as well as to assist in transforming racing to a long-term, sustainable and all-inclusive industry for the benefit of all concerned.”

In order to facilitate an orderly sale process, and on adoption of the plan, MOD agrees to provide an additional PCF facility of R550 million. This facility allows the company to draw three equal amounts for distribution to creditors, as provided for in the plan, starting in October 2020.

Evans said: “The BRP received many expressions of interest for the component parts of the business or assets. Following a fast-track sale process, we received formal proposals from those interested parties. The implementation of the plan will result in a better financial return and general outcome to concurrent creditor(s) as opposed to a liquidation of the company.”

Phumelela creditor voting for approval of the plan occurs on 1 September.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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