PLAY­ING DIRTY

Finweek English Edition - - INVESTMENT -

Things at Protech Khuthele just got messy, very messy, with Eqstra mak­ing an of­fer to ac­quire the shares it doesn’t own at 60c/share. The Protech board is­sued a terse Sens stat­ing that Eqstra had gone hos­tile on the of­fer, but Eqstra re­but­ted with a de­tailed Sens that es­sen­tially says the Protech board has been block­ing it and re­fus­ing to en­gage it. The claims made by Eqstra paint the Protech board in a very dim light and the over­all re­sult for share­hold­ers is a very low-ball of­fer of 60c. When I f irst wrote about a pos­si­ble takeover of Protech by Eqstra back in March, I sug­gested 90c-100c was a pos­si­ble price and the stock was trad­ing around 60c with a TNAV of around 85c.

Now it seems Protech has been dodg­ing Eqstra, and share­hold­ers are be­ing of­fered 60c, which, while a pre­mium to the re­cent share price, is well be­low TNAV and ear­lier mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions. Bot­tom line, the Protech board seems to have done no favours to share­hold­ers and while 60c is a low-ball of­fer, if re­jected the stock is likely to col­lapse back to around 30c. Simon says a board needs to look

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