Group Five’s chairwoman, non-executives resign

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No reasons were provided for resignations.

Group Five said on Tuesday its chairwoman had resigned along with three non-executive directors three-months after the South African construction company filed for creditor protection.

Nonyameko Mandindi and non-executive directors Michael Upton, Edward Williams and Cora Fernandez resigned with immediate effect, the company said, without giving reasons for the resignations.

Group Five, created in the 1970s from five construction companies, has struggled to make money in an industry squeezed by South Africa’s weak economy and a pullback in infrastructure spending by the government and private sector.

In March, the company was placed under “business rescue”, similar to US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after lenders pulled funding following cash flow problems.

Since then Group Five has said it would sell some assets and has exited some non-performing projects. It is also cutting costs.

Last Thursday, Group Five’s so-called business rescue practitioners said management accounts for the eight-months to February 28, indicated that a further R1.8 billion of losses were incurred following losses of R800 million in the year to June 2017 and losses of R1.3 billion in the year to June 2018.

“Major losses and negative cash flows were forecast for the balance of the 2019 calendar year,” it had said in a statement.

The practitioners also said they were seeking the consent of a majority of the creditors to extend the publication date of the business rescue plan to August 30, from June 28 due to the complexity of the business rescue proceedings.

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