Vitol SA and Burgh Group Holdings agreed to buy a stake in Africa’s biggest coal terminal from a mining company part-owned by the Gupta family, who are friends with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.
Vitol and Burgh will acquire Optimum Coal Terminal Pty Ltd., which has a 7.6 percent stake in Richards Bay Coal Terminal, from Tegeta Exploration and Resources Ltd., Rotterdam-based Vitol said on its website. Burgh Group, a Johannesburg-based holding company, produces 500,000 tons of coal a month and expects to more than double that output by mid-2017, it said.
The deal for an undisclosed sum is “subject to relevant regulatory approvals and other conditions,” Vitol said.
The Guptas and Zuma’s son, Duduzane, bought Optimum Coal through Tegeta from Glencore Plc in December. Buying the rights will strengthen Vitol’s position in the coal trade in a country that’s a key supplier to Asia.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal shipped a record 75.4 million tons of the fuel last year. It has the capacity to export 91 million tons annually and accounts for almost all of South Africa’s coal-export capacity.