An African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation- (AEMFC-) led consortium on Thursday announced that it would submit a bid for the Optimum Coal assets, which are currently in business rescue.
State-owned AEMFC believed the Optimum Coal transaction would be fundamental to the country’s energy security and is strongly supportive of ensuring that these assets are awarded in a transparent, responsible and fair manner.
“We believe there exists, through this consortium and within our bid for Optimum Coal and its associated assets, a significant potential to demonstrate the value inherent in a workable and sustainable South African public–private partnership (PPP).
“Our joint commitment to the transformation of the mining sector – and our partner’s proven record of operational excellence – can deliver meaningful and tangible growth for Optimum Coal,” said AEMFC CE Sizwe Madondo in a statement.
He added that the consortium’s successful bid would also ensure that, through this PPP, the State not only demonstrated efficient joint custodianship of a strategic national asset, but also its investment in a proactive strategy to ensure energy security for all South Africans.
Meanwhile, drafting of the business rescue plan is under way and legal adviser to the process Bouwer van Niekerk on Wednesday anticipated that a preliminary plan would be submitted for creditor approval by the end of next week.
Project Halo – the preferred bidder to date – has committed R600-million towards implementation of the business rescue plan and offered to purchase the Optimum assets for R3.6-billion.
The business rescue practitioners, legal advisers, Project Halo and other stakeholders such as Eskom have been in continuous discussions around modifying the business rescue plan, before it is submitted for creditor approval.
The Optimum assets started struggling when the controversial Gupta family, in 2016, stopped investing capital into the coal mines’ operation.