THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY|
CHUCKING IT IN
PERSISTENTLY pounded by negative sentiment, the last thing specialist retailer Verimark needed was its FD to resign.
Nothing seems to jolt the market more than an FD stepping down unexpectedly – and doubly so if that executive is opting to join another retailing group.
> BIG MAC GOES FOR
FINWEEK believes that Aussie investment banking and financial services group Macquarie has pipped local property players to the post in the bid for control of the manco of listed property heavyweight Grayprop.
Talk is that Macquarie, which is highly rated internationally for its property asset management skills, has offered more than R300m for Allan Gray’s 76% interest in Grayprop’s manco – a hefty premium to the estimated market value of R150m to R200m placed on the transaction by some local commentators.
Locals believed to have been in the race include Parkdev (a member of Atterbury Property Holdings), asset managers Madison, listed fund Growthpoint and Old Mutual Property Group.
The fact that an astute international player such as Macquarie is prepared to pitch its bid so aggressively signals a huge vote of confidence in SA property – not unlike the V&A Waterfront sale a few months ago where UK based L&R Group and its Dubai partners also comfortably outbid local investors.
But it’s apparently not a done deal. Standard Bank, which owns the remaining 24% in Grayprop’s manco, could still exercise its pre-emptive right to match Macquarie’s offer.
An official announcement is expected within the next few weeks.
CASPER’S (C)LONELY VOICE
SHAREHOLDERS got full value for money if they bothered to attend the AGM of empowerment group Sekunjalo last week.
This meeting was no threeminute affair, with both Iqbal Surve (CEO and chairman) and Norman Noland (deputy CEO) going through every aspect of the group’s business in intimate detail.
A lot of things were said that we suspect shareholders in attendance will hold the executives accountable for next year – most notably some of the profit projections and the promise to separately list various entities within 12 months.
But without doubt, the most contentious statement uttered (by Surve) concerned Sekunjalo’s 49% stake in biotechnology group Bioclones.
Surve reckoned this subsidiary – which is considering an international listing – could be worth much more than all of Sekunjalo’s businesses put together.
That, however, did not stop one sceptical shareholder (identified only as Casper) questioning whether it was reasonable for Sekunjalo to take a hefty R80m in fair value adjustments on Bioclones through the income statement.