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COSATU DROPS OBJECTION TO BUS FIRM SALE

21 Apr Transport

CAPE TOWN The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Western Cape has dropped its opposition to the R270m sale of Golden Arrow Bus Services to Hosken Consolidated Investment (HCI), the investment arm of Cosatu-affiliated trade union, the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu). The deal is expected to be finalised on Thursday. HCI has to confirm the offer by then, following completion of a due-diligence investigation into the transport group. Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary, said yesterday that a threatened court action, made when the sale was announced in March, would not proceed. He said the two unions involved, Sactwu, as part of HCI, and the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union, which represents workers at Golden Arrow, were in discussions to “find each other”. The trade union federation opposed the sale initially because it felt that a workers’ co-operative with an existing 12% holding in Golden Arrow had a pre-emptive right to buy outstanding shares in the bus company. Golden Arrow executive director Barry Gie confirmed that a final decision on whether the deal would go ahead was due by Thursday. He said the company considered the offer to be “fair and in the interests of all concerned”. Other conditions of the Golden Arrow sale that still remain are shareholders’ approval and the go ahead from the country’s transport and competition authorities. Golden Arrow is 50% owned by the Golden Arrow Trust and 50% by Golden Arrow Investment Holdings.

Source: Chris van Gass – Business Day