Sasol concludes R1,45bn BEE deal

South African petrochemicals group Sasol on Thursday announced that the R1,45-billion Tshwarisano black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction has been successfully concluded.

In terms of the agreement, Tshwarisano acquired a 25% shareholding in Sasol’s South African liquid-fuels business housed in Sasol Oil.

Tshwarisano, which means, “pulling together” in Sesotho, comprises many historically disadvantaged groups around the country and its chief promoters are Penuell Maduna, Hixonia Nyasulu and Reuel Khoza, Sasol said.

“We are particularly pleased about the broad composition profile of Tshwarisano. The direct beneficiaries of Tshwarisano number many hundreds of thousands of historically disadvantaged South Africans. More than 50% are women. The indirect beneficiaries number an estimated three million people,” said Tshwarisano chairperson Maduna in a statement.

He added that beneficiaries also include the youth, the disabled and rural communities.

Sasol is providing considerable facilitation and support for Tshwarisano’s financing requirements, which amount to about R1,1-billion.

Sasol has provided guarantees for the debt and agreed not to recover guarantee fees, all of which will significantly lower Tshwarisano’s cost of borrowing.

In addition, Sasol is also establishing and funding trusts within Tshwarisano for the benefit of the underprivileged.

“These initiatives are aimed at reducing financing costs and improving the long-term business benefits that will accrue to Tshwarisano’s broad base of empowerment shareholders,” said Sasol chief executive Pat Davies, adding that for Sasol transformation in South Africa is a strategic, business and moral imperative.

“We aspire to advancing our empowerment initiatives in ways that are sustainable, credible and of benefit to the Sasol group, all our stakeholders, and the country as a whole,” he added.

Sasol plans to incorporate Tshwarisano into the envisaged Uhambo Oil, a proposed joint venture between Sasol and Petronas International, which was turned down by the Competition Tribunal at the end of February this year.

The intention from the start, however, was that if the Uhambo merged company was disallowed, Tshwarisano would become a 25% shareholder in Sasol’s liquid-fuels business.

“The new Sasol Oil board will comprise 12 directors — three directors from Tshwarisano, six directors from Sasol and three executive directors from Sasol Oil. Their names will be announced as soon as the board is properly constituted,” Sasol said. — I-Net Bridge

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