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Theories on the Sagarmatha JSE listing that never was

NEWSWATCH: The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has confirmed that it will not be investing in Sagarmatha Technologies.
(c) Pavel Ignatov - 123RF.com

“Following the deliberations by the investment committee, it was decided that the PIC will not participate or invest in Sagarmatha’s private placement and IPO [initial public offering],” said Deon Botha, head of corporate affairs at the PIC.

Botha said the corporation was requested to participate in the private placement of shares in anticipation of the public listing of Sagarmatha on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Friday and that the company would have to raise R3-billion in order to list, reported Lisa Steyn in ‘Sagarmatha and other fairy tales’ in the Mail & Guardian (M&G).

Sagarmatha released a Sens statement saying that “the company cannot continue with the listing,” due to technical non-compliance with the JSE listing requirements as a result of the company not submitting relevant financials to both the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and the JSE in time, Steyn continued.

Ann Crotty of Business Day said that this announcement “came more than 24 hours after the JSE told it the listing could not go ahead,” with no explanation as to the delay in informing the market.

According to Sam Sole, senior investigative journalist at the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, the problem started in 2013 when the group owning Independent Media in Ireland went bankrupt and wanted to sell the company.

“They overpaid a political premium because, in my view, they wanted to get control of what was then the largest English newspaper in the country,” said Sole. For more of his views on this, read ‘Iqbal Survé funds scramble exposed' on Business Day.

On this basis, Steyn said founder Iqbal Survé is already indebted to the PIC which loaned him the money to acquire Independent Media in 2013, and his response to this statement reads as follows:
Dr Survé did not borrow money from the PIC nor did the PIC lend any money to Dr Survé. The PIC also did not lend money to the Sekunjalo Group. To infer otherwise is highly defamatory. To reiterate, neither Dr Survé nor Sekunjalo Investments are in debt to the PIC. All of Independent Media’s debt is from shareholders, who collectively have a residual interest in the business.

This is a very different type of debt to that of a bank loan.
Independent Media sets the record straight

Independent Media, through Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM), was included in the plans of Sagarmatha Technologies, to form part of the multi-sided platform (MSP) technology company's ecosystem which was to list on the JSE last week...

Issued by Independent Media 19 Apr 2018

In other reports:

In his article ‘The curious case of Sagarmatha and the listing that never was’ on Business Insider SA, Bruce Whitfield believes: “There is something decidedly odd about the fact that the most-hyped planned listing on the JSE has fizzled out without so much as a fight.”

Terry Bell of Fin24 says, “this should be a wake-up call to labour, a clear - and local - signal that a new age is dawning which, given existing economic and social systems, could tear apart the fabric of society”.

Essentially, by investing in Sagarmatha, the PIC would be paying off the debt that Survé’s Sekunjalo consortium had borrowed to buy Independent Media, said Dewald Van Rensburg on Fin24. “A PIC investment in Sagarmatha would mean giving money to a company that would have Independent Media group, which already owes the PIC hundreds of millions of rands, as its major asset.”

And so the unicorn died... (Sasha Planting on Moneyweb)

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