Export Development Canada (EDC) has resolved its litigation in the United Kingdom with Westdawn Investments. With the settlement, Westdawn is now agreeing to the legal steps taken by EDC starting in December 2017 to end its business relationship with the company.
On August 14, 2019, EDC issued a statement expressing regret for providing a US$41 million loan in April 2015 to Westdawn, a South African company owned by members of the Gupta family, to help finance the export of a Bombardier aircraft. In that statement, EDC acknowledged that the transaction was a mistake and described how it provided powerful lessons for the corporation, resulting in improvements to its due diligence and decision-making processes.
“The settlement of the litigation is a significant milestone towards bringing this matter to a full conclusion. Importantly, it clears the way for a straightforward process for us to sell the aircraft,” stated Carl Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Officer, EDC.
In relation to the aircraft, in March 2018, the South African court approved EDC’s application to ground the plane, which was delivered the following month to the Lanseria International Airport in South Africa. Since then, EDC has stored and maintained the aircraft. In December 2018, the South African court approved EDC’s application to market the aircraft for eventual sale. The settlement of the UK litigation concludes the related proceedings in South Africa, removing the injunction that grounded the aircraft. As a result, EDC may now proceed with selling the aircraft once a suitable buyer is found.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically.
For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit www.edc.ca.