Finweek English Edition - - Companies & Markets - MARC HASEN­FUSS

AF­TER SOME RATHER DIS­AP­POINT­ING in­terim re­sults to end-Fe­bru­ary, the price of Sekunjalo In­vest­ments has seem­ingly found a range be­tween 60c and 65c/share. A re­cent cau­tion­ary no­tice hasn’t ex­actly ig­nited mar­ket in­ter­est, but it has cer­tainly sparked a good deal of spec­u­la­tion.

As such, Sekunjalo – as a spec­u­la­tive flut­ter – is per­haps worth bag­ging at such lev­els, bear­ing in mind direc­tors have been full of prom­ises about un­lock­ing value for share­hold­ers. Four pos­si­bil­i­ties could be cov­ered by the cau­tion­ary. The first is the promised list­ing of Sekunjalo’s in­for­mat­ics divi­sion, which was ini­tially set for first half 2008. Frankly, if that divi­sion hasn’t listed by now, it’s prob­a­bly safe to as­sume – not­ing the jit­tery stock­mar­ket con­di­tions – that the list­ing won’t hap­pen this year.

The sec­ond is the list­ing of biotech­nol­ogy com­pany Bio­clones (con­trolled by Sekunjalo) in Lon­don or on the Nas­daq. That also seems un­likely over the short term.

The third pos­si­bil­ity is that the con­trol struc­ture held in Sekunjalo In­vest­ment Hold­ings will be dis­man­tled or adapted. The big out­come here could be in­ject­ing the hold­ing com­pany’s valu­able stake in tech­nol­ogy group Siemens SA into the listed ve­hi­cle.

The fourth pos­si­bil­ity is that Sekunjalo founder and for­mer CEO Iqbal Survé – who has been buy­ing shares by the bucket load on the open mar­ket – is go­ing to ini­ti­ate a buy­out of mi­nori­ties.

And then Fin­week has also heard talk – so far un­sub­stan­ti­ated – that the cau­tion­ary refers to a pos­si­ble deal with Bri­tish Tele­coms (BT) that cov­ers ex­pan­sion into SA. That would fit Sekunjalo’s stated strat­egy of chas­ing empowerment ar­range­ments with larger cor­po­rate en­ti­ties.

Clearly, there’s enough to keep pun­ters in­ter­ested – and pos­si­bly reap the re­ward of medium-term value un­lock­ing and deal flow. Apart from the flurry of spec­u­la­tion there are also fun­da­men­tal is­sues to con­sider for soon-to-be-pub­lished re­sults to endAu­gust 2008 – the most im­por­tant be­ing whether Premier Fish­ing can re­turn to prof­itabil­ity in the sec­ond half.

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