In a victory for Tongaat Hulett, which almost collapsed amid SA’s biggest accounting scandal after Steinhoff, an independent expert has determined that the Covid-19 pandemic is not an excuse for Barloworld to back out of a deal to buy the sugar maker’s starch business.

Shares in Tongaat, which is cleaning up its balance sheet after dodgy bookkeeping practices forced it into hefty writedowns, rallied more than 15% to R6.20 on Tuesday, the biggest one-day gain since early May, as the ruling is seen as key to its efforts to shore up its finances and fix its lopsided capital structure.

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