SA Express bidder requests 100 days to come up with funds to buy airline

In a last-minute bid to purchase state-owned airline SA Express, worker-owned consortium Fly SAX has requested an additional 100 days to raise the funds to complete the transaction.

Fly SAX won the bid to purchase the beleaguered airline from the government in September last year for R50 million; R24 million has been raised through a sale of the airline’s assets, leaving a balance of roughly R26 million which would be paid through a bank guarantee. 


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The consortium has however failed to raise the funds required, meaning the airline will likely go into final liquidation.

In January the airline’s provisional liquidation was extended to April 29 to allow for the conclusion of the shareholding agreement between the provisional liquidator and the government.

Read: SA Express provisional liquidation given four-month extension


Fly SAX spokesperson Thabsile Sikakane told Moneyweb that the consortium has requested that the airline’s provisional liquidator give them the additional time to raise the funds through equity crowdfunding as envisaged in the bid offer.

“This is only possible if the provisional liquidator gives us a letter of no objection and 100 days extension. This process would enable us to meet the requirements which are set as conditions to be eligible to be listed [on] the Uprise.Africa equity crowdfunding platform,” she said. 

Read: SA Express workers secure two anchor investors

The consortium is still waiting for approval from joint provisional liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara on whether or not their request will be accepted. Ndyamara had not responded to Moneyweb’s queries by the time of publication. 

On Sunday, Ndyamara said the airline’s provisional liquidators, Tshwane Trust, would still consider offers to purchase the airline from a “realistic buyer” and if “proof of funding is provided together with the offer to purchase”.

‘Opportunistic claims’

“The liquidators have received several opportunistic claims, none of which have materialised and no bidder has been able to provide proof of funding,” Ndyamara said in a statement. 

Ndyamara has reopened the opportunity for interested buyers to buy the airline despite SA Express’s previous liquidators, Go Industry Dove Bid, closing the expressions of interest in July last year. 

“The liquidators and the advisors to the liquidators being Go Industry Dove Bid, assessed the expressions of interest received and advised all of the parties that they had until 11 August 2020 to provide 10% deposit of their indicative offer, as per the expression of interest, and it was to be deposited into an attorney trust account (of their choice) indicating the funds are to be ring-fenced for the transaction,” Ndyamara said. 

Earlier this month, Moneyweb reported that aviation company Fly Modern Ark had sent Ndyamara and Public Enterprises Director-General Kgathatso Tlhakudi an unsolicited offer to buy the airline for R1. 

Read: Is SA Express worth R1?

Ndyamara however said the aviation company has not formally brought forward a bid to purchase the airline, adding that “no deposit or proof of funding has been put forward”.

“Fly Modern Ark had not provided the liquidators with a tangible offer, proof of funding and did not adhere to the terms and conditions of the sales process,” he said.