Gupta associate Salim Essa and Trillian part ways
Trillian said that under its new ownership structure‚ Wood owns 85% of the company and the balance is owned by management and staff.
"The unrelenting media allegations arising from Mr Essa’s holding (despite no proof or official charge) has had a negative impact on the ability of Trillian Capital Partners and its staff to reach their full potential. It is therefore with regret that Mr Essa has taken the decision to divest from the business‚" Trillian’s statement said.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela‚ in her State Capture report regarding R96 million Trillian had received from Transnet for no apparent services rendered‚ wrote: "Contracts between Transnet‚ McKinsey & Co‚ Regiments Capital and Trillian Capital Partners remain a mystery as all parties refuse to release details of the deals‚ which are being investigated by the National Treasury."
This mystery has subsequently deepened as evidence emerged that Trillian has similarly received nearly R500m from Eskom despite having no contract.
"Trillian has always maintained its innocence in the face of allegations and reiterates the belief that it has a team of excellent staff who are able to deliver on their mandates to the highest standards and hope they will be given a fair opportunity to do so in the future‚" it said in Thursday’s statement.
According to an organogram handed to advocate Geoff Budlender when he was commissioned by former Trillian chairman‚ Tokyo Sexwale‚ to investigate the company’s connection to state capture and the Gupta family‚ Essa owned 60% of Trillian via Trillian holdings and Wood owned 25% via a company called Zara W.
"I have not received any information as to the identity of Aerion Nominees‚ who hold 12% of the shares in Trillion Capital Patners‚" Budlender wrote in his report.
Though Essa is not known to have any blood relationship with the Guptas‚ a scandal in which the brothers obtained diplomatic passports issued by Lesotho uncovered that Atul Gupta described him as his nephew. Budlender said Essa is commonly called "the fourth Gupta brother".