The Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi has told parliament that the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund(BPOPF) is in a sound financial condition with P61 billion in assets despite it losing close to half a billion Pula.
Molefhi stated that BPOPF “recently lost a potential sum of P450 million from the private equity investment in Botswana Opportunity Partnership (BOP), a Private Equity Fund that was operated by the Capital Management Botswana (CMB).”
In his words, the fund committed P500 million to BOP in 2014 after a tender where CMB emerged as the successful fund Manager to operate BOP.
Two other companies had tendered.
BOP was a partnership where CMB was the General Partner (GP) and the Fund Manager while Botswana (BPOPF) was the Limited Partner (LP).
“The total size of the fund was P2 billion, therefore the expectation was that CMB would raise capital from other Limited Partners. The potential loss came about when CMB breached the partnership agreement and it was determined that the breaches could not be remedied,” said Molefhi.
Furthermore, he stated that BPOPF then took all the necessary steps in terms of the partnership agreement to terminate the General Partner (GP) which included a resolution from the Fund Board and the BOP Advisory Board.
Molefhi further explained that when CMB became aware of this action by the fund, they issued a capital draw down notice for P77million which was defective and could not be honoured by the fund.
“They then terminated the fund by invoking a clause that refers to failure by LP to honour capital draw downs, he said before continuing,
“This termination was not valid in terms of the partnership agreement and when various interventions failed, BPOPF resorted to litigation. Nonetheless, CMB proceeded with the termination and claimed that they had sold the BOP assets worth P450 million for P50 million. The amount was deposited in the BPOPF’s account.
Molefhi also stated that BPOPF is seeking confirmation of the appointment of the Statutory Manager as it will enable a thorough investigation into the affairs of the BOP.
He also stated that it is also seeking to confirm the termination of CMB as the GP and the appointment of a new GP and to secure existing assets being Wilderness and Cell City.
The minister also stated that BPOPF is also seeking to recover any losses from CMB with respect to the remaining assets which are BonaLife, Kawena, Agile University, Makuba Airlines and other investments that it may be unaware of.