Oakbay concludes $145m Optimum Coal deal despite banking cloud

Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakfield Investments, a Gupta-family owned company, during an interview with Bloomberg at their Johannesburg offices in South Africa on Monday, April 11, 2016. Pic: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg
Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakbay Investments. Pic: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

JOHANNESBURG, April 14 (Reuters) – South African’s Oakbay Investments has concluded a 2.1 billion rand ($145 million) takeover of Glencore’s Optimum Coal Holdings, business rescue practitioners of the coal firm said on Thursday.

The finalisation of the deal comes as Oakbay scrambles to restore banking relationships after all four major South African banks cut ties over criticism that its owners, the Gupta family, have undue political influence with President Jacob Zuma.