On Friday, Basil Read, one of SA’s iconic construction firms currently fighting for survival, announced the sale of properties in Ekurhuleni as part of a strategy to dispose of non-core assets in the group.

Basil Read and its peers in the construction industry have experienced a shortage of major projects amid a downturn in the SA economy and a deterioration of the country’s public finances.

The company, which went into business rescue in June 2018, said the sale of the Ekurhuleni properties represented non-core assets as contemplated in the company’s business rescue plan.

Thunderstruck, a company in which Basil Read Holdings held a 50% stake, is selling various properties in Ekurhuleni for R136m. Proceeds from the sale would be used to settle Thunderstruck’s liabilities and the balance would be distributed to shareholders, Basil Read said.

“The disposal is a critical building block to the improvement of the working capital of the group.” 

The transaction is subject to conditions, including approval from the Competition Commission and an endorsement of the deal by Basil Read’s business rescue practitioners.

The deal does not require shareholder approval as the sale price represents 2.5% of Basil Read Holdings’ total assets as at December 31 2017.