End of an era for Mvelaphanda
THE EASTER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS always guarantee a small turnout for our directors’ dealings report. That may lead to the sneaking suspicion that it could, in fact, be juveniles and teenagers who are actually pulling the strings of corporate South Africa. Them and the mortgage. But one interesting snippet that caught our eye last week was the news that John Moxon had resigned from the board of the Mvelaphanda Group. For most people that will probably illicit the response: “Who’s he?” – a sentiment with which we certainly sympathise. He’s most often described by business acquaintances as a very “private” individual. Recluse is more like it.
When this reporter called the then Rebhold Group to request an interview with Moxon in the mid-Nineties, I was told quite bluntly that he didn’t give interviews and didn’t want his picture taken.
Moxon is better known in Zimbabwe, where he’s the controlling shareholder of the Meikles group, one of Zimbabwe’s largest corporate enterprises. Meikles has interests in banking (it owns 33% of Kingdom Financial Holdings), hotels (including 50% of the Cape Grace Hotel at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town) and the retail sector.
The only personal information the Meikles website gives about Moxon is that he’s a chartered accountant and that he received an MBA from the University of Cape Town.
Mvelaphanda is coming to the end of an era with Moxon’s departure from the group.
He was one of the key figures in establishing Rebhold (the forerunner to Mvelaphanda), essentially providing the financial wherewithal to Stephen Levenberg, Mackie Brodie and Jacques Kempen to buy control of Rebel from Jan Picard in the Nineties and develop it into an industrial services business.
Back then, Rebhold was touted as the vehicle for Moxon’s expansion in SA. Rebhold was listed in 1996 and later merged with Cyril Ramaphosa’s Molope Group in 1999 to become Rebserve. It morphed into the Mvelaphanda Group in 2004, when it merged with Tokyo Sexwale’s business interests.
Levenberg, the outgoing CEO of Mvelaphanda, says that one of the reasons for Moxon’s resignation is that the Meikles Group has plans to extend its business interests in SA and he believed it was good corporate governance to resign.
However, you also get the feeling that Moxon is leaving because the business has developed a life of its own beyond the origi- nal partners, who have now all moved on. It’s simply the end of an era.
Good corporate governance. Stephen Levenberg