For those with guts

Finweek English Edition - - INVESTMENT - MARC ASH­TON

THIS IS NOT for wi­d­ows, or­phans or pretty much any one who might feel it if they lose some money if the trade bombs out. How­ever, if you have a bit of an ap­petite for early-stage ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ments, then you might want to take a look at this busi­ness.

For those who don’t know the his­tory, the once high-f ly­ing AfDawn was dec­i­mated by fraud at one of its sub­sidiaries and cor­po­rate shenani­gans at head of­fice. In May 2008 it was R5.20 share, to­day it trades some­where be­tween 7c and 10c and has tried to re­po­si­tion it­self as an in­vest­ment hold­ing com­pany. What caught my at­ten­tion was the an­nounced ap­point­ment of Mark Shut­tle­worth’s in­vest­ment man­ager Keet van Zyl, Sure Travel CEO Vanya Less­ing and the en­tre­pre­neur­ial Wendy Luhabe to the board. Van Zyl is ac­tive in the South African tech­nol­ogy space with his ven­ture cap­i­tal busi­ness Knife Cap­i­tal.

Even though th­ese are non-ex­ec­u­tive ap­point­ments, the abil­ity to at­tract three well­re­spected play­ers to the board says that there is a plan in place. In a worst-case sce­nario, the tan­gi­ble net as­set value (as re­ported in May 2013) is 12.5c/share and that means that at 8c/ share, where the counter is cur­rently trad­ing, you get a busi­ness at a sig­nif­i­cant dis­count.

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