Tongaat Hulett goes against former executives, including ex-CEO Peter Staude, in a civil lawsuit worth 450 million – Nach Welt

Sugar maker Tongaat Hulett has filed a $ 450 million civil lawsuit against some of its former executives.

The claim is part of Tongaat’s strategy to detain those implicated in the company’s near collapse an overestimation of the company’s financials by nearly R12 billion over more than seven years. The saga caused the company’s share price to crash.

Upon forensic investigation into the irregularities, PwC found that some Tongaat executives were allegedly involved in the inflation of consolidated profits.

In a statement on Tuesday, Tongaat said it had initiated civil proceedings in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court in 2020 against its former CEO Peter Staude, former CFO Murray Munro and former CFO Sean Slabbert.

“The civil action is based on the findings of the forensic investigation by PwC, namely unjust enrichment, damages for breach of duty of loyalty and deception,” said Tongaat.

The sugar maker stated that it has not only requested an order declaring the former directors overdue but also initiated separate proceedings against former managing director Michael Deighton over its Tongaat Hulett Developments business.

The lawsuit against Deighton was also brought before the Pietermaritzburg High Court in February 2020, bringing Tongaat’s total claim to R 450 million. The trial against the former directors’ trials is expected to begin in early 2023.

“As previously announced, criminal proceedings have been initiated against former executives and officers in both South Africa and Zimbabwe and we are continuing to work with the relevant authorities. In South Africa the matter is still with the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] and we understand that a decision on what to do next is imminent, ”said Tongaat.

Company secretary Johann van Rooyen said the group will do everything in its power to achieve a fair result for its shareholders.

The group has been working on strengthening its governance and financial recovery since the appointment of CEO Gavin Hudson in 2019. The company is now launching a rights issue of R4 billion as part of this strategy.

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