28 November 2014
Bridge, a provider of short-term unsecured credit, today (Friday 28 November) announced that more than 90% of debenture holders have voted in favour a business rescue plan that will see them fund the continued operation of the business. The business rescue plan will now proceed in terms of the relevant legislation and regulation that applies to business rescue proceedings.
The meeting of parties affected by the entry of Bridge into business rescue was held in Pretoria on Friday (28 November) to discuss and vote on the business plan that was circulated on 14 November.
The business rescue plan set out options that ranged from liquidation at about 18 cents in the Rand, to a proposal that will see existing funders provide further support that will enable Bridge to continue operating in its niched of the unsecured lending sector.
Two groups, Bridge debenture holders and Onecor investors, voted on the options set out in the business rescue plans. A total of 98.56% of Bridge debenture holders voted in favour of providing further funding to the business. Investors of Onecor, a funding structure discontinued in 2012, voted 91% in favour of supporting continued operations of Bridge rather than liquidation. The voting process was overseen by PWC.
Bridge chief executive Emile Aldum welcomed the vote. “This decision by debenture holders empowers Bridge to continue reorganising and adapting the business model to the new realities of the market. We believe that we have the right strategy and organisation structure in place for Bridge to emerge from this tough period in a better position.”
Aldum points out that the executives of Bridge have direct personal stakes in the success of the business rescue plan because they, too, are debenture holders. “Our interests are clearly and directly aligned with the people we have asked to support our plan.
“We believe that opting for business rescue relatively early was a sound decision that is enabling us to reorganise and restructure Bridge before we experienced any permanent effects of the changing conditions in unsecured lending,” says Aldum.
Bridge entered the business rescue process in September as a result of difficulties in the unsecured lending industry and the challenging local and global economic climate.
The business rescue process is being run by senior business rescue practitioner George Nell who was been appointed to implement the stringent statutory business rescue process. The business rescue process has no effect on current or future clients with loans from Bridge.
Contact at Bridge: Annemarie Truter, Communication Manager E-mail: email@example.com Office: 086 111 2754
BRIDGE ENTERS BUSINESS RESCUE TO ENSURE LONG-TERM FUTURE
19 September 2014- Bridge, a provider of short-term unsecured credit, today announced that it had applied for business rescue proceedings as a result of current difficulties in the unsecured lending industry and the challenging local and global economic climate.
Bridge said that it believed this was the best process to ensure the group’s long-term future and to preserve its investors’ capital. The company views the business rescue process legislation as a positive and powerful mechanism for securing future funding and safeguarding current investors.
The decision to apply for business rescue was taken at a board meeting on Monday 15 September. The company officially entered business rescue on Tuesday 16 September. Senior business rescue practitioner George Nell has been appointed to implement the stringent statutory business rescue process.
The business rescue process has no effect on current or future clients with loans from Bridge.
The short term impact will be felt mainly by debenture holders who will see interest payments reduced from 19% or 12% to 6% during the business rescue process. In total about 1 200 investors are affected. Bridge distributed e-mail letters to investors and other affected parties on Friday 19 September.
Executives of Bridge are themselves also among the investors who will be affected.
The business rescue process allows for a legal framework to restructure Bridge to enable it to continue as a sustainable business.
Bridge chief executive Emile Aldum said the decision to apply for business rescue had not been taken lightly. “The turmoil in the unsecured lending sector following the placing of a major player into curatorship meant that Bridge struggled to secure funding for the business.
“We were in advanced discussions with a number of funders who decided to pull back as the problems for a major player in the market emerged in the past few months,” said Mr Aldum.
Mr Aldum said it would remain business as usual for Bridge while this process was unfolding.
“Bridge has a secure and robust business model. We have a track record of 20 years during which we have built a successful business that has provided short term loans to millions and good returns to thousands of investors. We believe that Bridge will emerge from this process stronger and better able to adapt to changing market conditions,” said Mr Aldum.
Mr Aldum stressed that investors’ money was safe during this time. He also urged all affected parties to contact the company directly to be certain they understood their rights and their role in the business rescue process.
“My executive team and I are available to answer any questions from affected parties and we will be on call over the week-end should they need to speak to us.”
Traditionally, women had to rely on their spouses to earn the bulk of the household income as well as to manage the family’s finances. Their main focus had always been to take care of their family at home. Now, women can have exciting careers and earn an income that is on par with that of men – in some instances, wives now even receive a higher salary than their husbands.
Juggling the traditional role of family caretaker and income provider can prove very difficult at times. Women still find themselves ending their careers midway to start and raise a family. Some feel that they don’t have the skills to handle their own finances, and opt to leave the nitty-gritty of it to the men in their family.
Other problems women often experience are:
• Overspending: they try to keep up with friends/ family who have a more luxurious lifestyle
• Placing themselves second: they spend their whole income on their family and don’t invest in their own future (education, pension fund).
Alexander Forbes’ Head of Retail Legal Support, Jenny Gordon, says women have to take responsibility for their finances because:
• Women have a greater life expectancy than men. This means women spend a longer time in retirement and need to have saved more retirement capital.
• Retirement ages in many SA companies have been reduced from 65 to 60. If women’s life expectancy is around 83, it means that we will live more than one third of our lives in retirement.
• Job changes can impact on our retirement savings. Make sure that when we change jobs we keep our retirement savings. Otherwise each time we start a new job we are starting all over again and have less time for compound interest to work its magic.
How can women overcome some of these problems?
• Only buy what you can afford and don’t rely on credit cards. Try to avoid getting into debt as far as possible
• Look at you bank charges. You can save a lot if you have a bank account that is suited to your individual needs.
• Keep a budget and stick to it!
Source: Bona Magazine, October 2013 issue
The seven-day race, which follows a different route each year, will take participants over 550km through three different eco-regions in South Africa’s Western Cape province – the Great Karoo, the Klein Karoo and the Garden Route. This year’s edition will be the first as a UCI-graded event, which ensures minimum standards relating to the racing end of the field, including prize money amount and depth, as well the awarding of UCI rankings points to top finishers.
While the new UCI status of the event will attract more big name professionals and offer improved benefits to the top racers, the bulk the entrants, who are simply aiming to complete the event, will continue to enjoy the Cape Pioneer Trek’s trademark benefits, including the warm small-town hospitality.
The route for the 2014 edition will be announced next month. Although it changes every year, it will still include event’s trademark mountaintop finish of Stage 2 (Day 3), which sees riders ascend the formidable, majestic Swartberg Pass. This will be the first year that the first women’s team to the summit finish will receive the same prize money as the men.
Bridge, the event’s title sponsor, has committed a total of R250 000 (about US$25 000 to the stage, with the first men and women’s teams each receiving R125 000 (about US$12 500). It’s the richest single stage prize in mountain bike racing.
“I’m absolutely delighted about the news of the equal prize money on the big mountain-top finish stage,” said Swiss Marathon champion, Ariane Kleinhans, who, with RECM teammate Anika Langvad, won the event’s Queen Stage and the women’s race overall in 2013.
“It is a demonstration of the organisers’ respect towards us ladies’ performances and their motivation to increase female participation in our great sport. Equal prize money will attract more top riders to the race and push us to a higher level. Us ladies will definitely do our best to make it an exciting race,” added Kleinhans.
“Each year we fine-tune the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek to be even more rider-focussed. Our riders aren’t only our clients, but also have become our friends and we want to ensure they feel as at home and comfortable at the Cape Pioneer Trek as possible,” said Carel Herholdt of Dryland Event Management, the company that founded and manages the event.
“At the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, our focus is on quality, not quantity. Our stages aren’t long just for the sake it. They’re designed to offer as much reward as they offer challenges. They’re real mountain biking routes that include some of the Karoo and Klein Karoo’s greatest natural spectacles,” added Herholdt.
Photo: Anika Langvad (left) and Ariane Kleinhans of Team RECM approach the finish line on Stage 2 of the 2013 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek at the summit of the Swartberg Pass. In 2014, the first women's team to the summit will earn the equal prize money to the first men's team to the summit. With a total of R250000 (about US$ 25000), it's the richest stage in mountain bike stage racing © Zoon Cronje/Nikon
With almost two decades of experience in the unsecured lending industry, Bridge’s core business is to supply small and short-term loans to South African citizens who need a financial leg up. From an earning perspective; Bridge offers unique income generating opportunities that deliver above average yields.
Bridge is both a platform for making short-term loans more accessible and wealth creation more attainable.