South African Constructor Protech Khuthele Files for Rescue

Protech Khuthele Holdings Ltd., 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. 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.

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