Gupta-owned Oakbay faces JSE suspension

Company unable to find replacements

Gupta-owned Oakbay faces JSE suspension

15 July 2016

Cape Town – Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy is under threat of being suspended from the JSE after it failed to find a new sponsor, it was announced on Friday.

Oakbay’s auditors KPMG, it sponsor Sasfin and its banks all cut ties with Oakbay this year, following allegations of state capture by the Gupta family.

Sasfin ended its JSE relationship with Oakbay Resources and Energy on June 1, but the company had until July 14 to find a replacement.

However, Oakbay announced on Friday that it had been unable to find a replacement.

“(Despite) the fact that the company has utilised its best endeavours since Sasfin's resignation to find a replacement sponsor, the company has been unable to do so within 30 business days of the effective date of Sasfin's resignation,” Oakbay said in a statement.

Oakbay advised the JSE that it was not able to appoint a sponsor by close of business on Thursday, Andre Visser, general manager of issuer regulation at the JSE, said in an email to Fin24.

“As per the JSE’s listings requirements, Oakbay was given 30 business days to appoint a new sponsor,” he said. “This 30 day timeframe ended on 14 July 2016.”

“This means that Oakbay has failed to comply with the JSE’s listings requirements,” he said. “As a result, Oakbay’s listing is now under threat of suspension."

Both the JSE and Oakbay said they were engaging with each other regarding Oakbay’s failure to comply with listings requirements and will notify the market in due course.

“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,” the company said.

Oakbay found a new auditor in April, when SizweNtsalubaGobodo agreed to work with them.

However, the group is still battling to find a bank account in South Africa, but is making do with alternative banking arrangements.

“The company has largely stabilised its transactional banking capabilities and made significant progress in achieving its business objectives,” it said.

It noted that it managed to publish its reviewed financial results for the year ending 29 February 2016 and anticipates publishing its 2016 integrated annual report on or before 31 August 2016.

This article first appeared on Fin24, see here.