SA Express’s joint provisional liquidators have mandated asset disposal consultancy firm, GoIndustry DoveBid, to issue an ‘Expression of Interest’ notice to test the market’s appetite for a buyer for the airline, equity partner investors or purchasers for all or part of the airline’s assets.
Aviwe Ndyamara, one of the airline’s provisional liquidators, said during a mid-June meeting with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCoPA) that they were in the process of engaging with seven potential buyers who had expressed interest in the embattled airline. Aviwe said SAX would proceed with a “transparent process”, where it would either attract an investor or, alternatively, pursue the disposal of the assets of the airline in order to satisfy creditors’ claims.
The liquidators currently value the airline at R113 million, down from the R1,8 billion that SAX’s assets were quantified at earlier this year, prior to COVID-19.
The assets of the company include eight Bombardier CRJ200 jets, engines and spare parts, GSE, specialised tooling, workshop and support equipment, licences (operating, AMO, ATNS, ICASA etc.), IT infrastructure, and other intangible assets required to operate an airline in South Africa.
The notice is being publicly advertised and is in effect until July 21 (see image).
“In terms of the provisional liquidation order, we have a short period to gauge the interest of the marketplace and check validity of expressed interest submission. This will then be presented to the provisional liquidators who will review and seek to determine the best way forward and the best outcome for SAX employees, creditors and shareholders,” says associate director of GoIndustry DoveBid, John Taylor.
John told Travel News that, while it was still too early to comment on the parties that had expressed interest in the airline, GoIndustry DoveBid was tasked with running a fact-finding mission to establish the credibility of the interest. Once the findings had been reported to the provisional liquidators, GoIndustry DoveBid would await further instruction on how to proceed, he said.
“We have been in touch with the liquidators this week but while we had initially expressed some interest in the airline prior to COVID-19, when the global aviation industry was in a stronger position, our interest is now more focused on some of the airline’s equipment,” says ceo of CemAir, Miles van der Molen.
“We found the liquidation services company to be very proactive but believe they would like to first establish whether the airline can be sold in its entirety before committing to the sale of individual assets,” he says.
Had COVID-19 not happened, FlySafair may have looked at the sale of SAX with “a slightly different lens”, says FlySafair’s executive manager and chief marketing officer, Kirby Gordon. “At the moment our focus is on getting FlySafair back on its feet, so we are not going to move on any of the items that are up for sale.”