Dis­count widens

Would op­por­tunis­tic Reinet take an in­ter­est?

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & Markets -

off its valu­able mi­nor­ity stake in cel­lu­lar ser­vices com­pany Vo­da­com.

At the time of writ­ing Ven­Fin was trad­ing at 1725c/share on the OTC mar­ket, down around 37% on its price at endJune 2008. That means Ven­Fin has fallen harder than its largest in­vest­ment – its 25% stake in tech­nol­ogy gi­ant Di­men­sion Data (which has dropped around 32% since June last year). Di­data rep­re­sents around 30% of Ven­Fin’s in­vest­ment port­fo­lio – which we must re­mem­ber also in­cludes around R1,7bn in cash (which, in turn, is held mostly off­shore).

By our cal­cu­la­tions, Ven­Fin’s stake in Di­data – now slightly big­ger fol­low­ing the group’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in a re­cent shares­for-cash is­sue – is worth R2,2bn. We’d also pre­sume Ven­Fin’s cash pile – notwith­stand­ing some small in­vest­ments – would have grown to around R1,8bn, if only be­cause of the rand de­pre­ci­at­ing re­cently against ma­jor cur­ren­cies. So roughly R4bn can safely be ac­counted for in Ven­Fin’s port­fo­lio, rep­re­sent­ing 1500c in value.

To put it plainly, Ven­Fin’s cur­rent share price sim­ply re­flects the group’s hold­ing in Di­data and its cash pile.

Some pun­dits have been some­what dis­parag­ing about Ven­Fin’s re­main­ing “rats and mice” in­ter­ests, with some even tag­ging Ven­Fin as noth­ing more than a Di­data play. How­ever, there can be lit­tle doubt there

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