Barloworld ropes in independent expert in dispute around sale of Tongaat's starch business

iStock

The sale of Tongaat Hulett's starch business appears to have hit another snag after Barloworld chose to put its dispute about the profitability of the sugar company’s starch business through an adjudication process.

In March, Barloworld seemed poised to acquire Tongaat’s starch business in a R5.35 billion deal that would have offered the sugar producer a life-line as it struggles with high debt levels.

But in mid-May the deal was delayed by a dispute between the two companies, with Barloworld questioning the starch business’s profitability.

On Tuesday, in a cautionary statement, Barloworld said the appointment of an independent expert to adjudicate the dispute was imminent. 

The adjudicator is expected to provide an opinion around September 21. 

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