CAPE TOWN The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Western Cape is to launch a high court bid to stop Golden Arrow Bus Services from selling the company to Hosken Consolidated Investment (HCI), the investment arm of its affiliated trade union, the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu). Golden Arrow said the decision to sell was taken after a “firm” offer of R270m was received from stock exchangelisted HCI, headed by former trade unionist Marcel Golding, and its subsidiary, Mettle . The deal has caused an uproar in Cosatu, which said a workers’ co-operative, with an existing 12% holding in Golden Arrow, should have been given a preemptive right to buy outstanding shares in the company. Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary, said yesterday that the federation would launch the court action. “But our fight is not with the bidders, our beef is with the company. The workers put forward a bid proposal equal to HCI’s and Mettle’s,” said Ehrenreich. Barry Gie, executive director of Golden Arrow, said the company had considered the offer to be “fair and in the interests of all concerned “. “Given that nothing concrete was proposed (by the co-operative) in support of interest shown, the board decided not to frustrate the offer from HCI and Mettle ,” said Gie. The sale is subject to shareholder approval, a due diligence and approval from the provincial transport department.

Source: Business Day – Chris van Gass