Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Gallo Images/Beeld/Deaan Vivier
- Various potential buyers have expressed an curiosity in shopping for a stake in Airports Company SA, but it surely’s not on the market, says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
- Mbalula’s assertion is probably going in response to current feedback made by billionaire Rob Hersov expressing an curiosity in six regional ACSA airports.
- In April this yr the Supreme Court of Appeal dealt a blow to minority shareholders in ACSA, ruling in opposition to them in a drawn-out authorized battle over shares they bought in 1998.
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Various potential buyers have expressed an curiosity in shopping for a stake in Airports Company SA (ACSA), however the state-owned entity, which runs the nation’s important airports, shouldn’t be on the market, in keeping with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
“ACSA is not only a strategic national asset with an important role to play in South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery, but also in enabling the growth of the aviation sector in Africa,” Mbalula stated in an announcement on Friday.
“It is on this basis that the government has no intention to divest the equity it holds in ACSA, in favour of private shareholding in the foreseeable future.”
Government owns a 74.6% stake in ACSA and the Public Investment Corporation holds 20%. The relaxation is held by a variety of non-public investor teams.
“While it is true that ACSA has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of travel restrictions, it remains on course on the recovery path,” stated Mbalula.
“We will continue to engage with investors with a view to direct these investments to projects that we believe will add appropriate value to our service delivery mandate across the sector, and not equity. The aviation sector has massive potential for investment and we encourage investors to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.”
A supply acquainted with ACSA instructed Fin24 that the assertion by Mbalula is probably going in response to current feedback made by billionaire Rob Hersov. He instructed The Nielsen Network that he sees untapped worth in six regional ACSA airports.
Nick Ferguson, Hersov’s companion in RSA.aero, confirmed to Fin24 on Friday that that they had expressed a verbal supply about two months in the past to purchase a controlling stake in six regional ACSA airports. These are George, Gqeberha, East London, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Upington. The thought is for ACSA to stay a minority stakeholder in these smaller airports.
ACSA referred them to the Department of Transport, which in flip referred them again to ACSA. The proposal was additionally put to Minister Mbalula.
“We never proposed buying a stake in ACSA. We are only interested in buying a controlling share in the six regional airports. These regional airports represent less than 10% of air traffic and passengers at all ACSA airports and historically have made losses every year,” says Ferguson.
“At some stage ACSA would need to realise these airports are not financially feasible to them and they are doing a disservice to the South African community as the activity levels at these airports have been declining annually even before the pandemic.”
RSA.aero, which owns the Cape Winelands Airport on the outskirts of Cape Town, believes it takes a distinct sort of talent to handle these regional airports and unlock their worth.
“We will go through a formal bidding process. We believe we have a unique offering. After all, President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated in the past that he sees the value in public-private partnerships,” says Ferguson.
Minority shareholder frustration
In April this yr the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dealt a blow to minority shareholders in ACSA, ruling in opposition to them in a drawn-out authorized battle over shares they bought in 1998. The ruling put aside a settlement settlement which was initiated by ACSA and the Department of Transport. However, the difficulty of whether or not the minorities have been oppressed has not but been determined by the courts.
The minority shareholders, which embrace Old Mutual-controlled Futuregrowth and different events, declare they had been anticipating to have the ability to promote their shares as soon as the corporate was listed on the JSE – however this by no means occurred. They are additionally sad as a result of they are saying they haven’t been in a position to get truthful worth for his or her shares from ACSA.
ACSA is ready to announce its monetary outcomes for the yr ended March 2022 subsequent week.
* This article was up to date with remark from Ferguson.