This matter involved the purchase by our client, CIMC Vehicles, a leading manufacturer of trailer and semi-trailer in the market, headquartered in China, of a South African company in business rescue which had a material pending employment dispute involving almost 300 ex-employees. 

The dispute was significant because it threatened to derail the transaction – the employees were seeking reinstatement together with back-pay.  The transaction also raised questions as to the application of the automatic employee transfer provisions in force in South Africa to a business in business rescue as the relevant transfer legislation was drafted prior to the amendments to the Companies Act relating to business rescue.

In addition to advising on all the employment related issues arising from the transaction, we negotiated with the applicable trade union to settle the pending labour dispute expeditiously and to assist with the exit of certain members of senior management of the target.