SA Express Airways

Fly SAX turns to venture capitalists for assistance in funding a take over. Image via Pixabay

SA Express: Workers submit successful bid to purchase embattled airline

The Fly SAX group, which consists of SA Express employees, have submitted a successful R50 million offer to purchase the airline.

SA Express Airways

Fly SAX turns to venture capitalists for assistance in funding a take over. Image via Pixabay

Having wheeled away and formed their own Fly SAX group to salvage embattled SA Express from liquidation, workers have been named as the preferred bidders for the airline on Tuesday 29 September. 

Workers facing retrenchment from the airline have set out to raise at least R250 million to buy SA Express – which was placed under provisional liquidation by the High Court in Johannesburg on 28 April because it defaulted on obligations to pay creditors the R2.5 billion owed to them  

SA Express to be purchased by workers  

 A letter received by SA express liquidators states that the highest bidding offer for SA Express was obtained from Fly Sax Proprietary Limited. 

“The preferred bidder, in terms of compliance with the terms and conditions of the sales process and the highest offer obtained, is Fly Sax Proprietary Limited,” they said. 

The purchase price is understood to be set at R50 million, however this does not include the movable assets attached to the airline, which will need to be auctioned in a bid to raise funds and drive down the price. Any shortfall will be recovered from the bank guarantee provided to the joint liquidators. 

“The amount is payable in the form of a bank guarantee to be provided to the joint liquidators. The buyer does not acquire the movable assets of the company, and requires the same to be disposed off by way of public auction by the joint liquidators.”

The bid seeks to hand power of the state-owned airline back to its 691 employees, who have also linked up with crowd funding company Uprise.Africa, who have pledged to assist with the procurement of financing to get the airline back in the sky. 

Further funding still required 

Following this development, Fly SAX will need to get moving on their fundraising. Spokesperson for Fly SAX Thabsile Sikakane told Business Maverick on Thursday 24 September that the company had received approval from the provisional liquidators and would expedite it’s ambition to “further capitalise” the business. 

“Without disclosing details, we can only confirm that the capital raise plan is not for the [initial] acquisition [of the airline] but will be done post-acquisition to meet its working capital requirement and asset financing for the new airline… More details will be available in the coming days,” said Sikakane.