Richards Bay Coal Terminal in Due Process on Proposed Vitol Deal

Africa’s biggest coal export facility, Richards Bay Coal Terminal, said a proposed purchase by Vitol Group of a stake of export rights from a company controlled by South Africa’s Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma, is subject to standard procedure, according to the terminal’s chief executive officer.

“The RBCT board is following due process with regards to this matter,” CEO Alan Waller said in an e-mailed statement. The proposed transaction to buy the stake from Tegeta Exploration & Resources, could give Geneva-based Vitol rights to ship about 8 million metric tons of the fuel from South Africa annually. Oakbay Investments, owned by the Guptas, has a 29 percent stake in Tegeta.

While Oakbay and Vitol have declined to comment as to whether a transaction is being discussed, the Gupta family said last month they would sell their South African business interests.

Some shareholders, who have an automatic right to ship at the terminal, are reluctant to let a non-mining company hold a stake in the facility, and would need to waive their rights to buy the stake themselves, three people familiar with the matter said Sept. 12.

Shareholders in the terminal include Anglo American Plc Glencore Plc and South32 Ltd.