Low-cost airline Mango is one step closer to being sold as its preferred bidder delivered proof of funding, according to business rescue practitioner Sipho Sono in his latest status report. 

Fin24 reports that Sono said the process of trying to sell Mango had progressed ‘substantially’ once the preferred bidder – whose identity has not yet been revealed – provided the confirmation of funding.

The bidder consortium had to provide a bank guarantee for the full purchase consideration, which is also still not known.

Mango does not form part of the deal that will see the Takatso Consortium obtain a 51% stake in embattled SAA.

Sono indicates he has ‘engaged extensively’ with the preferred bidder to ascertain, among other things, working capital and availability of funds to resume operations, adequate skills to operate an airline, plans for securing aircraft, and route network and expansion plans.

Sono will engage with SAA and its shareholder, the Department of Public Enterprises, on the next steps to be taken.

If the sale transaction fails, Sono will have to implement a wind-down process in terms of the rescue plan. Then creditors will likely receive only 10c in the rand.

Mango went into voluntary business rescue at the end of July last year.

It owes R2.85bn to creditors, and also has about R183m of unflown ticket liabilities.

Full Fin24 report

The provisional liquidators of SA Express (SAX) intend to apply for final liquidation.

SAX went into provisional liquidation in April 2020 when a business rescue attempt failed. It has not operated since.

A second Fin24 report says repeated attempts to conclude a sale of the airline have failed, and the provisional liquidators in March announced the reopening of the bidding process.

This attempt, however, also appears to have failed.

The provisional liquidators indicated in 2020 that the amount to be raised was R50m.

At the time, the sale by the liquidators of the airline's few tangible assets raised about R30m.

Second Fin24 report