The Vision Consortium announced yesterday the approval of its rescue plan for Tongaat Hulett, marking a pivotal moment for southern Africa’s largest sugar group.

The consortium, led by entrepreneurial families including South African and Zimbabwean figures Robert Gumede and Rute Moyo, alongside international businessmen Amre Youness and Nauman Khan, expressed gratitude for the plan’s approval.

Tongaat Hulett, a key strategic asset in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, is a major employer with around 40,000 workers and collaborations with over 250,000 small-scale cane growers. The consortium, with its diverse expertise, is poised to implement a comprehensive strategy to revitalize, expand, and diversify the company.

The Vision Consortium conducted thorough due diligence across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique, where Tongaat Hulett is a leading sugar company and one of the region’s largest employers. The consortium’s involvement in the transaction dates back to late 2020, with a steadfast belief that Tongaat Hulett, under the right stewardship, could reclaim its status as a thriving business.

In a statement released yesterday, Vision emphasized gratitude towards Tongaat’s management and staff, the business rescue practitioners, and the pivotal role played by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in providing crucial support to Tongaat during this challenging period.

The consortium unveiled a robust five-year business plan designed not only to stabilize Tongaat but to foster growth and diversification within the SADC region’s sugar industry. Almoiz, a technical partner brought into Vision, is expected to significantly contribute to the success of the plan. With extensive experience in operational management, sugar production, ethanol, and biomass energy, Almoiz is poised to play a crucial role in Tongaat’s resurgence.

Additionally, Terris, another partner within the Vision Consortium, brings expertise in distressed asset management and financial engineering, essential for stabilizing Tongaat and propelling its growth.

Vision has expressed its intention to engage with the SA Sugar Association and work collaboratively with the IDC on post-commencement finance, aiming for mutually beneficial terms agreed upon by all parties involved.

Stakeholders are optimistic about the revival and sustained success of Tongaat Hulett in the SADC region’s economic development as the Vision Consortium takes ownership and control.