Taking a Pick to the last pyramid
WILL SHAREHOLDERS PAY THE PRICE?
vehicle for the Shub family, holds a direct 76,2% stake in Rex Trueform.
Altron looks like a pyramid for the Venter family to maintain its 56,6% control of Altech, but it’s not. Altron has other subsidiary holdings besides Altech, including Powertech and Bytes Technology. Typically, a pyramid holding company has nothing else but the controlling stake in an underlying operating company.
RMB Holdings was also considered, mainly because of its 30% holding in FirstRand (which should be raised to 34% in a restructuring next month). But RMB Holdings also has other direct holdings, as does FirstRand. And the whole structure will change markedly next month when its banking and insurance interests are divided and separately listed on the JSE.
Investors and minority shareholders will have a number of points of entry into the group. The three founding directors – GT Ferreira, Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris – will still keep their holdings through RMB Holdings but it’s dispersed beyond that. Says GT Ferreira: “RMB Holdings believes the restructuring is in the best interests of all shareholders and will increase investment flexibility substantially.” That doesn’t sound like pyramid talk and the new structure will be hard to define as a pyramid.
But there’s at least one true pyramid on the JSE. There may be a few smaller examples we have overlooked but this is the big one – and probably the last one. It’s a group everybody knows: South Africa’s
FROM LEFT Raymond Ackerman, Gareth Ackerman, Paul Harris,
Laurie Dippenaar, GT Ferreira, Craig Venter and Bill Venter