Although South African Airways (SAA) is set to take to the skies again as from Thursday 23 September, its chosen strategic equity partner, the Takatso Consortium, is so far not involved in the management, funding or relaunch plans.
Takatso is a joint venture between infrastructure investment firm Harith (as majority shareholder and funders of the SAA deal), and Global Aviation, which operates low-cost airline LIFT, among its other operations. It is anticipated that the consortium would have to plough at least R3 billion into the new SAA over the next three years.
Takatso CEO Gidon Novick said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the relaunch of SAA is separate to the engagement between Takatso and the Department of Public Enterprises to acquire a 51% stake in the national flag carrier.
"We have progressed the due diligence process of SAA, which is now substantially complete, and no material issues have been identified," said Novick.
"Discussions currently underway between Takatso and the DPE revolve around the share purchase agreement for 51% of SAA. This agreement will be subject to various approvals and pre-conditions."
He explained that the share purchase agreement is "a large and complex transaction and we anticipate that it will take some time, but there is strong commitment from both parties to ensuring the agreement is finalised."
Earlier this month, Novick denied rumours on social media that Global Aviation or Takatso itself had pulled out of the deal.