Right of Reply: Business bully accused Comair refuses to come clean on Metaco

Earlier this month, BizNews ran the story of how South African airline Comair bullied a new business partner, Metaco, into the ground. A year after Comair bought Metaco, which was supplying consultancy services to Comair, Metaco crumbled. Metaco explains how, in July, Comair – which operates Kulula and British Airways – acquired the consultancy as part of Comair’s strategy to diversify income streams for the Group. But, with a sudden about-turn to their plans, Comair sought to disinvest from Metaco, leaving Metaco’s owners with just a shell of the thriving company they previously had, says Metaco. Comair bought 100% of Metaco Holdings for a downpayment of R12.8m, with the balance of the total purchase price to be paid on an earn-out basis over six years, but now wants the downpayment back – even though its antics have ground Metaco into the ground. BizNews offered Comair a right of reply. Here is the airline’s brief response to the allegations it is a business bully that has acted unethically, at the very least. – Jackie Cameron

From Comair

Comair holds itself to the highest standards in its business operations and has done so more than 73 years. We hold our business partners to the same high standards. Unfortunately not all mergers and partnerships work out and that was the case with Metaco. The matter is subject to litigation and we do not intend to conduct those proceedings through the media.


Here are 7 questions from Biznews that Comair won’t answer

  1. What are Comair‘s next steps in regard to the matter with Metaco?
  2. How do you explain the treatment of Metaco?
  3. Are you going to drop the request for the repayment of the initial purchase sum?
  4. How are you going to fix this financial mess that Metaco has endured?
  5. Are you going to apologise to Metaco?
  6. How are you going to explain this waste of money and the abuse of a small business service provider/partner to your shareholders and other potential business partners?
  7. Who takes responsibility for crushing Metaco? Will this person be suspended or fired? If not, why not?

Any other comments would be appreciated.