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Tafika Holdings gets court relief on PTC

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Kalekeni Kaphale

Tafika Holdings, the new owners of Peoples Trading Center (PTC), have applied for a protection order restraining creditors from any action against them.

Tafika is expected to pay creditors K6 billion, which it assumed as part of buying PTC from Press Corporation plc.

Last month Sheriffs, on instructions from Rab Processors Limited, closed PTC Head Office in Blantyre and its shop at Ginnery Corner and Escom cut off power from PTC shops.

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On August 1, the sheriffs advertised in the local press of an auction for PTC properties.

The application for the protection order means that PTC is protected from the sale of property, closure of its shops and any other action by creditors.

On Monday this week the sheriffs advertised for an auction of PTC properties which apparently was to take place this coming Monday.

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According to a notice of the order which has been obtained by lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale addressed to the creditors, PTC has filed an application in the Commercial Division of the High Court of Malawi in Blantyre for company reorganiation and that the application is pending determination by the judge.

The notice indicates that the order restrains any company from passing a resolution to wind-up PTC, any company from creating, perfecting or enforcing security interests over the company’s property except with the permission of the Court, and any landlord (including a person to whom rent is payable) from exercising a right of forfeiture by peaceable re-entry in relation to premises let to the company except with the permission of the Court.

“…and take further notice that any creditor of the company in violation of the moratorium granted to the company by virtue of filing the company reorganisation application under said sections may be held in contempt of Court and liable to be punishable by law,” it reads.

Tafika Holdings Executive Chairperson Arson Malola said the order will allow for orderly operations of the business and resuscitate the company.

“This order gives us more than enough time to do what we need to do and do the things in peace because we are now reorganising the whole business and we will open our shops again especially the Ginnery Corner one in two weeks’ time,” he said.

Just by applying for the order, PTC is protected from creditors but the court will set a date for hearing which if satisfied will grant the order which is expected to protect the chain store company for six months.

Lawyer Lusungu Gondwe from Ritz Attorneys at Law who represent Rab Processors declined to comment on the matter indicating that they have not been served with the order.

Escom Public Relation Manager Kitty Chingota asked for a questionnaire which she was yet to respond to at a time we were going for the press.

In February this year, Press Corporation plc sold PTC to Tafika Holdings at K6 billion which was supposed to be used to settle debt to creditors

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