If the JSE has been a sea of red for the past three weeks, petrochemical giant Sasol has been the biggest basket case of all, having shed 87% of its value this year. Now, with its $10bn of debt roughly five times its market value, Sasol has announced a series of measures designed to keep its lenders at bay.It all seemed so unlikely two weeks ago. CEO Fleetwood Grobler was on a roadshow in the US, discussing his company’s plan to deal with delays in its Lake Charles Chemicals Project, and oil was at between $50 and $60 a barrel.Then on March 9 the oil price, already under pressure from the Covid-19 outbreak, tumbled 31% to $30 a barrel after Saudi Arabia launched an oil price war to force Russia to slash production. Sasol’s stock plunged 46% that day, raising fears that its bankers might call in the debt."To be clear and honest, it’s a global catastrophe that no-one could have foreseen," says Grobler in an interview with the FM.On Tuesday, Grobler said the interventions — including ...

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