Flash Briefing: Anglo American spins off SA coal; Volaris makes bid for Adapt IT; Eskom scandal; NDB; AstraZeneca

  • Anglo American will spin off its South African coal mines into a new business this year, as the company moves to give investors more choice in deciding whether or not to support the coal business. The company has always said separating its South African business was likely in its exit from thermal coal. The new business, called Thungela Resources, will be listed in Johannesburg and London in June, according to a statement. Investors will receive one Thungela share for every ten Anglo American shares that they hold. Anglo executive July Ndlovu has been named chief executive officer.
  • Volaris Group has offered Adapt IT shareholders R6.50 per share in cash for the JSE-listed software services group. Adapt IT said in a statement that Volaris has offered to buy 100% of the company. However, as part of the scheme, Adapt IT shareholders are entitled to retain all or part of their shares in the firm. Adapt IT shareholders who collectively hold just under 22% have furnished irrevocable undertakings in support of the deal. Huge group previously offered shareholders almost R1 less per share.
  • A recent investigation at Eskom has uncovered more corruption involving  Thandi Marah. The then-senior manager of business enablement for the state utility allegedly interfered in a tender process. Marah allowed Econ Oil & Energy to obtain contracts worth more than R15bn, says Bloomberg. In return for the tender, Econ Oil director Nothemba Mlonzi made a number of payments – including a R100,000 contribution to the African National Congress – at Marah’s request. Eskom said it has temporarily suspended Econ Oil as a supplier to allow it to make further responses over the next six months.
  • The New Development Bank has approved a $1bn emergency loan for South Africa to support government efforts to manage the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will help finance the creation of employment opportunities under the Presidential Employment Stimulus program that aims to create and support about 700,000 jobs in the public sector. The NDB, approved another $1bn emergency loan for the country in June last year to support the nation’s healthcare sector.
  • The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has seen suspensions in Europe over a possible link between the shot and deadly blood clots in older patients. Health officials subsequently declared the vaccine safe to use. In the UK, the inoculation has now been reserved for those over 30 years old. The Wall Street Journal reports that ‘the European Union’s health agency said it had found possible links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots but that the shot’s benefits continue to outweigh the potential risks’ according to the agency.

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