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Consultants net millions from SAA business rescue

SAA's business rescue practitioners have earned over R36m in the past six months.
SAA's business rescue practitioners have earned over R36m in the past six months.
Image: SAA

SAA's business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana have earned just over R36m since their appointment six months ago to provide a business rescue strategy for the ailing national airline.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan revealed this in a written reply to a parliamentary question from the EFF's deputy president Floyd Shivambu on Monday.

This emerged on the same day that the practitioners requested yet another extension — their fifth — to publish their rescue plan. The plan was due on Monday, but the business rescue practitioners asked creditors for a further extension on the basis of a request by two of the biggest trade unions at the company.

Creditors granted them the extension to publish their final plan on June 15.

Gordhan's reply revealed that, as at May 26, Matuson & Associates had been paid R22.2m, while Dongwana's Adamantem had been paid just over R14m.

Gordhan said the business rescue practitioners have been paid in accordance with the hours worked and the rate set down for business rescue practitioners.

He said they did not benefit from the Development Bank of Southern Africa equity bridge loan facility to SAA, other than payment in the normal course of the business rescue process based on hours spent on the transaction and set down rate for that practitioner.

In a separate response, to DA MP Alf Lees, Gordhan revealed that R80.7m was spent on consultants in the first eight weeks of the BRPs' appointment. This included R13.5m paid to the duo's companies.

Between December 5 2019 and January 31 2020, Matuson and Associates received R11.5m while Dongwana's Adamantem received close to R2m. They were paid to provide business rescue and restructuring consulting, said Gordhan.

During the same period, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenberg was paid R12.2m as legal advisers to the BRPs to provide insolvency, commercial and labour law legal advice to the business rescue practitioners, while financial advisory services company Alvarez & Marsal Europe Ltd was paid R30m for providing aviation restructuring advice to the BRPs.

Auditors PwC netted just over R25m for their advice on liquidation, cash flow projections and development of the airline sustainability model.


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