Guptas share decision sad, says CEO

2016-08-28 07:28
Atul Gupta (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Atul Gupta (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Oakbay CEO Nazeen Howa described the Gupta family's decision to sell all its shares in South African companies by the end of the year as sad.

''It's a sad day for all of us today,'' Howa told SABC television news Prime Time after the shock announcement on Saturday.

Describing the family as ''good people to work with'', he said they had stepped down as directors in April in the hopes of getting the banks back, ''but this didn't work''.

This was after Absa, First National Bank and Standard Bank dumped them as clients earlier this year.

Howa said the next logical step after that was to sell their shares and since the decision was announced on Saturday, the phone had been ringing off the hook with people interested in buying.

But, there would be no firesale of the company's interests, which include ANN7 television channel, JIC, Shiva Uranium and Sahara Computers.

He told the broadcaster it was not true that the companies benefited unduly from government contracts, describing Oakbay as a ''nothing'' in the coal supply business.

They had taken no money out of the country, and had been given a bad rap by the media.

Shock decision

Earlier, the family announced that they intended to sell all of their shareholding in South Africa by the end of the year, News24 reported.

The family said that since they stepped down, the local management team had grown the businesses.

Turnover and profits showed good growth and more jobs were created.

"As a family, we now believe that the time is right for us to exit our shareholding of the South African businesses which we believe will benefit our existing employees, and lead to further growth in the businesses.

"As such, we announce today our intention to sell all of our shareholding in South Africa by the end of the year."

They were talking to several international buyers and would make further announcements soon.

"We believe that this decision is in the best interests of our business, the country and our colleagues."

Read more on:    oakbay investments  |  gupta family  |  cape town

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