Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

A business rescue plan released this week takes 66-year-old construction company Basil Read to the last chance saloon to secure its survival.

The group, which has struggled to stay profitable and has had trouble paying creditors on time for a number of years, finally has a framework from which it can operate, says CEO Khathutshelo Mapasa.

Basil Read entered a business rescue process in June, so that rescue practitioner Adamantem and Matuson & Associates could develop a plan which would keep the construction company afloat while ensuring that its creditors would be better rewarded than if Basil Read were liquidated.

The plan, which was released on Monday, includes selling off property assets, as well as a 13% shareholding in Lehating Mining, a manganese project in the Northern Cape.

The firm wants to hold on to Basil Read Mining, which has been more successful than the construction arm, and will be able "to make further distributions to Basil Read and from which business rescue dividends will be paid", it said.

"We finally have a workable plan that can rehabilitate Basil Read. This will help us continue as a going concern while we hold on to our staff and are able to pay our subcontractors," said Mapasa. "We recently secured R235m in funding from numerous parties to sustain various projects. We then have further facilities which will provide funding on top of this on a project-by-project basis."

The business rescue practitioner said "notwithstanding the inevitable risks and challenges" there was a "reasonable prospect of a successful business rescue, that balances the rights and interests of all relevant stakeholders".

It urged stakeholders to approve the plan. A meeting is scheduled for September 8.

"Should the business rescue plan not be approved and adopted, the business rescue practitioner [is] of the view that the business rescue will have to be converted to liquidation proceedings immediately," Adamantem and Matuson said.

andersona@businesslive.co.za

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