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Gupta jet can be sold, moved after court case ends in UK

Nov 18 2019 14:19
Jan Cronje
Atul Gupta at the launch of ANN7 news channel on A

Atul Gupta at the launch of ANN7 news channel on August 21, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / James Oatway)

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Canada's export credit agency, Export Development Canada, which provided the Gupta family with a multi-million-dollar loan to purchase a luxury jet in 2015, says the sale of the jet can now go ahead after litigation between it and a Gupta-owned company ended in the UK.

"Since we began the marketing process earlier this year, there has been interest and we expect even more interest now that the litigation has concluded," a spokesperson told Fin24.

EDC in April 2015 loaned Westdawn Investments $41m to purchase the Canadian-built Bombardier Global 6000, roughly 80% of the aircraft's purchase price of $52m.

The Johannesburg High Court in April 2018 ruled that the jet be grounded after the family started to default on their loans. It later ruled that a sale could go ahead, but the jet could not be moved as Westdawn Investments took the EDC to court in the UK.

Since the initial court ruling the jet has been grounded at Lanseria airport.

EDC now says that it has concluded litigation in the UK and can proceed with the aircraft's sale.

"With the settlement, Westdawn withdrew its objection to EDC’s termination of the business relationship. No money was exchanged as part of the settlement and Westdawn will not be entitled to any proceeds from the sale of the aircraft."

The EDC said that, prior to the settlement, the export credit agency was restricted to marketing and advertising the aircraft for eventual sale.

"The resolution of the litigation removes the injunction that had been grounding the aircraft. EDC can move the aircraft should it choose to and, importantly, we can proceed with selling the aircraft upon identifying a suitable buyer."

The EDC, which ended its business relationship with the Gupta family in late 2017, said earlier in the year that it regretted participating in the transaction which resulted in a business relationship with the Gupta family.

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