Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO
Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO

I see that the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has impaired more than R1bn owed by Iqbal Survé’s companies, in respect of equity and loan funding advanced to allow him to acquire Independent News and Media SA in 2013.

What I want to know is why the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which invests on behalf of the GEPF, does not appear to have taken legal action to at least claim the portion that was due in August, but which apparently remains unpaid.

The PIC is, I presume, much closer than the general public to the financial aspects of the debtor, especially considering the material amount loaned in the first place. I also presume that there is some sort of security in place for the debt, and I would be interested to know what form this takes.

The debtor is still trading and producing the newspapers that existed at the time of change of ownership, and I would have expected the PIC to apply for the liquidation of Independent if the lender considers that the total loan of more than R1bn is at serious risk of being irrecoverable.

A response from the PIC to the above questions would be appreciated.

Derek Pryce
Via e-mail