Monday, May 20, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Pakistan's PAKAfrica Aviation eyes majority stake in 1Time Holdings, including Jetworx.

A new potential buyer for bankrupt LCC 1Time (T4), has emerged in the form of PAKAfrica Aviation, a Pakistani aviation group, who have pitched USD1.6million (ZAR15million) for a "controlling stake" in South African firm, 1Time Holdings, owners of the LCC along with its MRO wing, JetWorx.

According to Business Day,  1time’s provisional liquidator, Aviwe Ndyamara, received a Letter of Intent from the Pakistanis last Monday night; one day prior to a meeting to update shareholders about the stricken airline’s prospects for avoiding final liquidation, set for October 3. Ndyamara had in the past said that an application to bring forward 1Time's liquidation had been lodged in order to bring it forward as the likelihood of a successful buyout by fastjet seemed more and more unlikely.

1Time Holdings, South Africa

The group is currently mired in debts amounting to USD47million.

Mr Ndyamara said PAKAfrica Aviation was a consortium based in Crown Mines and was a joint venture with an unnamed Pakistani company. The "local partners are the same guys who were involved with Velvet Sky; the Bhanas and Stephen Nthite and Excalibur", he said.
"What happened is this Pakistan group approached me together with the Bhanas and said they wanted to make an offer for 1time and Jetworx. The liquidator said he could not discriminate and that if they wanted to put in an offer to the creditors, he would put it to them, but he would need proof of funds," Mr Nthite said.

"I reported back to the group … and I said unless you give me a letter with proof of funds from a reputable financial institution I cannot (represent) you. I withdrew after they did not give me the information about who the financial muscle is," Mr Nthite said.
Source [BusinessDay]

Mr Ndyamara says he develop discussions with PAKAfrica and seek some kind of guarantee from PAKAfrica and establish its financial bona fides. The most attractive assets that 1time still holds are its operating licences and its listing on the JSE, which is suspended, Mr Ndyamara said.

PAKAfrica's interest includes Jetworx, 1Time Holdings' MRO division, whose tentative tie up with the US-based American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC) in February collapsed.

South African trade union, Solidarity, states that AIAC "neglected to provide Jetworx with around ZAR3million as it was required to do", resulting in the company’s financial position weakening further. It was therefore unable to pay its suppliers and employees and was hence forced to apply for provisional liquidation in late April.