THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - EDITED BY MARC HASENFUSS

FIN­WEEK has of late taken a shine to spe­cialised tech­nol­ogy con­tender Dat­apro and in that re­gard it’s good to see it’s in good com­pany. Op­por­tunis­tic Stel­len­bosch-based fi­nan­cial ser­vices bou­tique PSG has de­clared a 4% stake in Dat­apro, which was ac­quired at 112c/share.

PSG’s em­pow­er­ment as­so­ci­ate Them­beka (for­merly Arch Eq­uity) orig­i­nally held a 30% stake in least cost ser­vice provider Orion Tele­com. Orion was ac­quired 100% by Dat­apro late last year – a deal that cre­ated a rather for­mi­da­ble In­ter­net/tele­coms of­fer­ing. PSG’s latest re­sults show that Them­beka’s ef­fec­tive “re­tained” stake in Dat­apro (as at end-Fe­bru­ary 2007) was 2,5% – which means PSG has picked up the ad­di­tional shares off its own bat.

Clearly, it’s a ma­jor vote of con­fi­dence to have PSG hold­ing a strate­gic stake in new-look Dat­apro, which more mar­ket watch­ers (who have marked the share above 165c) clearly feel has all the at­tributes of a real tech­nol­ogy con­tender.

But what will be more in­ter­est­ing to gauge is whether PSG – which cur­rently holds a fair whack of cash af­ter sell­ing its shares in JSE Ltd – bol­sters its stake in Dat­apro in the months ahead. Some­how we sus­pect it will… THE LAST THING Wellco – the rather in­sipid health prod­ucts provider – needs now is a de­lay in its life­line deal for its anti-malaria prod­ucts. The com­pany, which has fallen well short of pre-list­ing profit goals, has al­ready been in need of rather des­per­ate cap­i­tal trans­fu­sions since list­ing in 2005. So share­hold­ers prob­a­bly won’t like the look of the latest Sens an­nounce­ment.

PSG DI­ALS INTO DAT­APRO

CASH DOSE DE­LAYED

Wellco ad­vised its share­hold­ers that the Euro­pean hu­man­i­tar­ian and med­i­cal foun­da­tion – which has pro­posed buy­ing Wellco’s malaria med­i­ca­tion – has asked for a 30-day ex­ten­sion to pay a 50% de­posit on the pur­chase price. Maybe some will ar­gue that such de­lays are com­mon­place in the cor­po­rate world, but us or­di­nary folk – who may have a propen­sity to sell houses or cars – tend to read omi­nously into sit­u­a­tions where buy­ers don’t meet de­posit obli­ga­tions.

COP­PING IT

THE COP­PER PRICE is look­ing darned ro­bust th­ese days. And don’t think it’s just the mar­ket-watch­ing so­phis­ti­cates who know it. A plum­ber tells us that in­creas­ingly he’s been called out to re­place cop­per pip­ing that’s been ripped out of walls of apart­ment build­ings and private homes.

Some­how I don’t think too many peo­ple will be ap­plaud­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of such new min­ing meth­ods or the emer­gence of a new breed of com­mod­ity dealer…

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