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Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Nedbank will acquire significant shareholdings in Tongaat Hulett after the sugar and property development company was forced to unwind its empowerment deal. In a statement released on Tuesday the company said that RMB and Nedbank have exercised their rights in terms of the broad- based BEE (BBBEE) funding agreement to acquire 23.4-million Tongaat shares at 1c a share. The banks have taken an undisclosed hit on their funding of the Tongaat BBBEE deal and have forced the deeply indebted transaction to be unwound. The forced unwinding of the BBBEE transaction is the latest knock for Tongaat, which has been dogged by controversy and claims of mismanagement for over a year. In that time its share price plummeted to a low of R15.15 in March before recovering marginally to its current trading level of R20.76. The purchase of the shares will see each of the two banks emerge as major shareholders in Tongaat, which has had no dominant shareholder since it was un...

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