Super Group battles to raise funds to pay off R3bn debt

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Troubled motor, transport and logistics firm Super Group is scrambling to raise funds to chip away at its billions in debt.

The company managed to reduce its gearing from 72 percent to 51 percent during the interim fiscal period ended December 2008.

At the end of 2008, however the company's net debt was still sitting at R3billion after paying off only R687million.

Yesterday it announced a new debt restructuring programme along with a fresh share rights offer at 45 cents per share to raise R1billion.

Super Group chief executive Larry Lipschitz said: "The actions being taken and the strategies being implemented will secure the future of Super Group in challenging local and international conditions."

In addition to the rights offer, the company has managed to convince lenders to restructure their debt facilities "to allow Super Group to continue its operations with any liquidity constraints".

Last year the group announced that a "possible fraud" at some of its units would require a restatement of its June 2007 final results.

The impact saw headline earnings per share dropping by as much as 17 percent from 132 cents per share to 110 cents per share for the year.

In mid-2008 the group announced lacklustre performance, and said it would issue a R750million rights issue to repay its mounting debt.

This however fell short of its anticipated yield as the company's share price has since fallen from levels just under R8 per share a year ago to its current value of 52 cents.

In December the group said it would be selling several business units to escape the depressed vehicle leasing and sale market.

The company showed a very small increase in revenue, but a decline in operating profit.