THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY|
A STIRRING IN THE PACIFIC ALTHOUGH PACIFIC HOLDINGS – the investment company controlled by the grand-sounding Pacific Asia Investments International – has long had its listing terminated, it’s heartening to see that executives have been working hard behind the scenes to salvage some value for long-suffering shareholders.
Pacific is one of those sad corporate stories, where investors had high hopes of a new conglomerate being formed by its Malaysian controlling shareholders.
As Malaysian investment enthusiasm in SA waned, Pacific was pretty much left to languish with an asset base that really did not warrant a listing on the JSE.
News last week suggests that a proposal to acquire the group’s sole asset – the Rendezvous Hotel and Conference Centre (ie the old Brackenfell Hotel) – is in hand, and this sale could realise R20m. Considering the property held a book value of around R5m, the deal looks rather acceptable (under the circumstances).
The proceeds should cover Pacific’s remaining debt of R17m, and leave around R3m – equivalent to around 12c/share – in the kitty.
No doubt the cash shell – albeit in terminated state – could still be offered to any party wanting a vehicle to drive on to the JSE via the back-roads.
But instead of stringing things out, we reckon the available cash should be paid out to shareholders and this sorry corporate chapter closed. JUST SHOW HER THE DOOR LAST WEEK A reporter from sister medium Fin24 was denied entry to the JD Group AGM. Apparently there was not enough seating to accommodate the trio of journalists who turned up…although I’m sure my colleague(s) would not have minded standing.
There’s no doubt – with pesky activists like the irrepressible Theo Botha around – that AGMs can become contentious and even controversial affairs. (Botha did, for the record, attend the JD Group AGM.)
Hopefully the possibility of a contentious subject being raised at an AGM is not going to prompt executives to shut out journalists, which would be a rather silly attempt to limit any damaging information flows.
We certainly don’t relish the prospect of having to acquire a single share in every listed company on the JSE just to attend AGMs.
ARTHUR’S THEME > WHILE THE curatorship of Fidentia – which seems to have an overly complicated structure – is sparking some intrigue, it’s interesting to peruse the interests of prime mover Joseph Arthur Walter Brown.
A search through CIPRO shows Brown holding directorships of more than 30 companies – including a number of Eastern Cape-based businesses like Grass Land Lawns CC, Competent Computer Services and King Crete, as well as exoticsounding ventures like Bamboo Rain, Cybermedica, Misty Mountain Trading and Servicare Holdings.
The more the merrier…