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South African Constructor Protech Khuthele Files for Rescue

Protech Khuthele Holdings Ltd. (PKH), a South African construction company, has filed for business rescue as a lack of debtor repayments put it under cash constraints.

The Johannesburg-based company, whose chief executive officer, Antony Page, resigned on May 28, has voluntarily filed for protection against its creditors, the company said in a statement today. Protech can’t meet its commitments due immediately to suppliers and a debtor failed to repay 40 million rand ($3.8 million), it said.

“Given the cash-flow impediment, the board concluded that although Protech is financially distressed, there appears to be a reasonable prospect of potentially rescuing the company, as the assets, fairly valued, exceed the liabilities,” Victor Dingle, acting CEO and chief financial officer, said in an e-mailed statement today. “The board is unanimous in its decision that Protech voluntarily begin the business-rescue process.”

Protech’s board declined to recommend a $16 million takeover by Eqstra Holdings Ltd. (EQS) in April last year, saying the bid undervalued its business. South Africa’s economy, the second-largest on the continent, shrank in the three months through March as the longest mining strike in the nation’s history, by 70,000 workers at platinum producers, hit output.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net Peter Chapman, Kim McLaughlin

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