Business Rescue Transaction of the Year

DealMakers Annual Gala Awards

***New Award***

Due to the increase in business rescue proceedings over the last few years, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, DealMakers has taken the decision to recognise the valuable work undertaken in the business rescue space.

2020 Business Rescue Transaction of the Year

Phumelela Gaming and Leisure

Gold Medal Award


John Evans, Business Rescue Practitioner | RS Advisors

Local Advisers

RS Advisors.jpg

The company entered business rescue proceedings in May 2020 after deciding against voluntary liquidation. Phumelela was experiencing financial difficulties prior to the pandemic but it was the devastating financial impact of COVID-19 which led to its decision to enter business rescue proceedings. Phumelela received R100 million in post-commencement finance from local company Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters (MOD), to ensure the continuation of operations while the company underwent restructuring and the sale of assets. Bids to acquire all or some of its assets were received from among others UK bookmaker Betfred and MOD. In September creditors voted in favour of MOD (4Racing) to take control of the racing assets including the local and offshore totes and broadcasting rights. 

Other nominees for 2020 were:

Comair entered voluntary business rescue proceedings in May 2020 in order to safeguard the company and its shareholders by restructuring the airline as quickly as possible so the business could once again be operational. The internal restructuring process begun in March but was interrupted by the grounding of flights in line with the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Comair become financially distressed and unable to meet debt obligations resulting in the company filing for business rescue.  The evaluation of multiple bids, negotiations with lenders, aircraft lessors, creditors and stakeholders resulted in a transaction with the Moritz Consortium enabling Comair to resume trading operations in December 2020.

The local advisers to the process were: Redford Capital, PSG Capital, Werksmans, ENSafrica, Webber Wentzel and Letsema Corporate Finance.


In 2019 Edcon, which had been struggling for a number of years under a growing debt burden secured R2,7 billion from lenders, landlords and the Public Investment Corporation in a restructuring plan that freed the company of interest-bearing debt. In May 2020 after losing R2 billion in sales as a result of SA’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions the owner of the Edgars and Jet chains filed for administration. Unable to find investors for the business, the administrators opted for a sale plan to transfer ownership of parts of the group in SA and Southern Africa and to save jobs. Durban-based Retailability backed by Metier Private Equity and DEG of Germany acquired 120 Edgars stores and The Foschini Group took over 425 Jet stores.

The local advisers were: Matuson Associates, Rand Merchant Bank, Investec Bank, UBS, ENSafrica, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and EY