Tak­ing a Pick to the last pyra­mid

WILL SHARE­HOLD­ERS PAY THE PRICE?

Finweek English Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHAUN HAR­RIS

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

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