Gupta-linked Regiments pays Transnet pension fund back R530m | Fin24
 
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Gupta-linked Regiments pays Transnet pension fund back R530m

Nov 21 2019 17:16
Lameez Omarjee

A Transnet pension fund has been paid a settlement amount of approximately R530m from Gupta-linked Regiments, the fund said in a statement issued on Thursday afternoon.

Regiments is a financial services company which allegedly was appointed corruptly to manage the assets of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund. Regiments had scored business contracts with Transnet through the Guptas and their associates, amaBhungane reported previously.

The Transnet fund had launched claims against Regiments to recover fees it irregularly earned. Eventually the parties agreed to a R500m deal (discounted from R825m) according to an amaBhungane report

"The Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund is delighted to announce that it has implemented a settlement agreement with Regiments Capital, Litha Nyhonyha, Magandheran 'Niven' Pillay and various related parties settling the Fund’s claims against the parties to the settlement agreement," the statement read.

Nyhonyha and Pillay are majority shareholders and the remaining directors at Regiments.

In addition to the R530m settlement, the fund also purchased 810 228 ordinary shares of Capitec Holdings – creating an additional benefit to the fund in excess of R100m.

"The overall value to the Fund of the implementation of the Settlement Agreement is excess of R630m," the statement read.

The settlement was implemented without the consent of Capitec required or without any support from Capitec, according to the Fund.

Fin24 previously reported that Regiments wanted to sell Capitec shares to settle the bill with the Transnet fund. However, Capitec launched a legal challenge to prevent the sale of shares, in part to protect its B-BBEE status. The Regiments affiliate, Coral Lagoon, which owned the shares, is black-owned, Fin24 previously reported.

However, in early November, a high court judge ruled against Capitec, and ordering the bank to give Coral Lagoon to sell its Capitec shares.

Capitec had appealed the judgment. The bank is yet to respond to Fin24's request for comment on the news of the settlement.

Fund can still pursue more claims

"The Fund's settlement was excluded from the restraint order obtained by the National Director of Public Prosecutions against Eric Wood, Regiments Capital, Niven Pillay, Litha Nyhonyha and others. The subsequent restraint of the amount paid by the Fund in terms of that order has no impact on the Fund’s settlement," the statement read.

Eric Wood used to be a Regiments director, and is a shareholder who initially lodged an application to prevent the fund from clawing back the money, but later dropped the application, Fin24 previously reported.

The Fund said its settlements with Regiments defendants does not preclude it from pursuing remaining claims against other defendants in the litigation – this includes Eric Wood, a former Regiments director who is also a shareholder; Kubentheran Moodley, who has been described in an amaBhungane report as a fixer who makes connections for companies to score contracts; and Tebogo Leballo, CFO of Gupta-linked Trillian.

Meanwhile on Thursday, amaBhungane posted a tweet stating that the National Prosecuting Authority had seized the bank accounts and property owned by Regiments Capital and its directors.  

The NPA is yet to confirm this to Fin24.

transnet  |  regiments capital  |  gupta familly
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