Salim Essa has sold his controlling interest in Trillian as his close association with the Gupta family – facing allegations of corruption and state capture – threatens to jeopardise the financial-services company. Essa, who is a director in VR Laser and a shareholder in Teg-eta Exploration and Resources through Elgasolve, sold his 60% stake in Trillian to Trillian Capital Partners CEO Eric Wood, the company said on Wednesday. The acquisition brought Wood’s share to 85%, with the rest of the shares owned by management and staff, the firm said in a statement. Essa has been at the centre of allegations that German software multinationals SAP and Software paid millions in kickbacks to companies either owned or in the process of being acquired by the Guptas’ Sahara Systems in order to acquire contracts from state-owned entities such as Transnet, according to reports from investigative journalism unit amaBhungane. “The unrelenting media allegations arising from Mr Essa’s holding — despit...

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