South Africa

Doom and gloom for Markus Jooste's Mayfair Speculators

2017-12-23 13:36
Markus Jooste at the recent Klawervlei breeders awards (Klawervlei.co.za)

Cape Town - The liquidation hearing of the Markus Jooste-owned Mayfair Speculators has been postponed to February next year after Judge Siraj Desai ruled in the Cape High Court that the matter needs a full hearing as it has far-reaching implications, according to the Sporting Post website.

READ: Jooste's Mayfair Speculators sell Horse of the Year, Legal Eagle

Earlier this week, Jooste relinquished his racing silks and resigned as a member of the National Horseracing Authority.

The question of whether the sale of the Mayfair Speculators' horses-in-training would continue and if trainers would continue to be paid remains unanswered. The judgement makes reference to the opening of a second ‘operating expenses’ bank account, which will be closely monitored by Absa and a weekly budget/cash-flow is required to be submitted to the bank.

In court papers on Friday supporting the liquidation application, Moneyweb reports that Absa accuses Jooste and Stefan Potgieter, his son-in-law and currently the sole director of Mayfair Speculators, of ‘naked fraud’ following representations made to Investec and the transfer of assets from Mayfair Speculators to its holding company.

Jooste, a horse breeder and racing fanatic, quit as Steinhoff International Holdings NV CEO earlier this month after the discovery of suspected financial wrongdoing.

Shares in the global clothing and furniture retailer crashed 85% following the news, wiping a staggering €11bn (R176bn) from the value of the company.

According to Fin24, the court papers suggest that Mayfair Speculators owes three banks more than R1.2 billion.

Absa claims R226 million, while Investec and Sanlam are owed R250 million and R800 million, respectively.

These loans were secured by Mayfair Speculators’ holding of Steinhoff shares. The banks have now called up these loans after Steinhoff’s shares fell from around R70 to R4.50 on Thursday this week, following one of the largest ever corporate scandals in South Africa.

Earlier in the week it was confirmed that Jooste had sold dual Horse of the Year winner, Legal Eagle, to Tekkie Town founder and owner Braam van Huyssteen for an undisclosed sum.

Tekkie Town is a subsidiary of Steinhoff.

Van Huyssteen, who has around 175 horses, appeared thrilled with his purchase.

“He’s the best horse in the country,” he said, adding that he is hoping Legal Eagle will provide him with his first Grade 1 victory.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggest Mayfair Speculators have sold a second star horse, Edict Of Nantes.

The Sporting Post website reported that dual Grade 1 winner Edict Of Nantes has passed all veterinary and statutory requirements and will be exported to join the Tony Millard yard in Hong Kong.

If the rumoured sale proves to be true, it would make the classy 4-year-old a doubtful starter for the Sun Met in view of Hong Kong 's import restrictions governing race exposure.

According to leading bookmakers, BET.co.za, Legal Eagle has been installed as 3/1 favourite for the Sun Met, wit Edict Of Nantes next best at 6/1.

Judge Desai said during the hearing that the matter is of “great importance” for several parties and postponed the matter to Thursday, February 8.

Prior to that, two of South African horseracing's biggest race days - the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Saturday, January 6) and the Sun Met (Saturday, January 27) will be contested, both at Kenilworth racecourse in Cape Town.

Read more on:    markus jooste  |  horseracing
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