Van Hoogstraten accuses NSSA of being a bully

08 Sep, 2017 - 00:09 0 Views

eBusiness Weekly

Tinashe Makichi
British businessman Nicholas Van Hoogstraten has questioned the authenticity of a High Court Order awarded to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) which paved way for the restructuring of Rainbow Tourism Group’s (RTG) $10 million loan owed to the pension’s authority.

He said NSSA is badly managing companies and at the same time abusing other shareholders by conducting some transactions and making decisions through the back door.

Van Hoogstraten has a combined stake of 36 percent in the hospitality group while NSSA has a 40 percent shareholding, First Mutual Life 20 percent and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality controlling about four percent.

In an interview, the British businessman said there were some underhand dealings in the awarding of the Court Order which ruled in favour of NSSA allowing RTG to pursue alternative ways to restructure the balance sheet including the authority’s $10 million debt.

The loan, which was due in December 2015 was restructured to a seven year loan with an annual interest of 6 percent. Van Hoogstraten has been opposing the group’s decision to restructure the loan, arguing that the initial loan was not used for its intended purpose.

“The court order which they are noisy about is fake. It is something that was done by directors at RTG … done sorely under their directive. RTG is now saddled with a $15 million debt and how is that debt going to be repaid when the company is struggling,” said Van Hoogstraten.

“On the FML transaction; NSSA is buying its own stake as it already owns FML. Most listed companies are suffering from lack of capable shareholders and managers. “NSSA is one of those shareholders who have caused problems in the running of companies. Everything has been happening on the back door and I am standing up against that,” said Van Hoogstraten.

A well-placed source at the Authority told the Business Weekly this week that the deal was at an advanced stage and NSSA is looking at consolidating its controlling stake in the hospitality group.

The source added that a board meeting was held this week which deliberated on the modalities of the transaction which is as good as done.

Van Hoogstraten said he is of the opinion that the company should be placed under judicial management.

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