Mvela CEO smoothes his way out
Levenberg sells 80% of shares
MVELAPHANDA GROUP CEO Stephen Levenberg further loosened his ties to the investment group last week when he offloaded stock worth another R38,9m. Levenberg announced in December 2006 that in June this year he’d be leaving the group he helped establish. His successor is Yolanda Cuba, who at 29 will head one of South Africa’s most successful empowerment companies so far.
According to the group’s annual report, Levenberg held 11,8m shares at the June year-end. He began liquidating his holdings in September last year, when he sold stock worth R11m, followed by the sale of another R46,8m worth in December, when he announced his departure. Together with the latest sale, his disposals total R96,7m and represent around 80% of the stock he held at the June 2006 year-end.
Levenberg says the sales represent a longterm diversification and realignment of his portfolio, allowing him to realise capital to “apply in his new endeavours”.
Levenberg was one of the founding partners of the industrial services group Rebhold, which listed on the JSE in 1996. Rebhold’s interests ranged from catering to cash security. It morphed into Rebserve when it merged with Cyril Ramaphosa’s Molope Group in 1999. The company emerged in its latest guise – essentially as an investment holding company – in 2004, when it merged with Tokyo Sexwale’s Mvelaphanda Group.
Before founding Rebserve, Levenberg was a senior partner and head of corporate law at Werksmans Attorneys, having gained extensive experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and other transactions.
Also interesting last week was to see MTN CEO Phutuma Nhleko hedging a portion of the position he took in the mobile operator’s stock in June last year. Back then, Nhleko entered into a forward buying deal to acquire stock worth R265m at R63,97/share in November this year.
Now Nhleko appears to have decided to lock in the profit on about a quarter of his total position through a zero-cost collar. The question for traders to decide is whether that means Nhleko sees volatile conditions ahead?