The Nova Property Group has withdrawn a controversial proposal to convert the former Sharemax investors’ debentures into shares and to list the company on the JSE.
The original proposal caused quite a stir last year and failed when Rudi Badenhorst, the company’s financial director at the time, labeled the proposal penned by Nova chairman Connie Myburgh – as “daylight robbery”.
Badenhorst specifically referred to the 43% interest the directors would have received in such a new company, while around 19 700 investors – who collectively invested more than R4.5 billion in Sharemax – would have received only 34.5%.
The directors also did not pay for their original shares in Nova and would have received their 43% for free.
Badenhorst later resigned from the board, as did Dirk Koekemoer. Their remaining shareholding in Nova was stripped of all voting powers, and this gave Myburgh and Haese full control of the company.
During the failed debenture holders meeting held last year, Myburgh undertook to amend the proposal and to repitch it to investors. However, the board informed debenture holders on Monday that it has withdrawn the proposal and cancelled a meeting scheduled for 26 September. No reasons were offered as to why the proposal was withdrawn.
Dominque Haese, Nova’s CEO, also did not respond to emailed questions to provide some clarification.
The Nova board terminated communication with Moneyweb since Moneyweb fought for three years to gain access to the company’s shareholder register, which later revealed that the board received 97% of Nova for free.
At the time Haese sent the following statement to Moneyweb:
Dear Mr van Niekerk,
It is regrettable that our efforts in engaging Moneyweb openly, constructively and in a bona vide fashion has not been reciprocated. In response Moneyweb has chosen to publish articles without prior reference to us, and in breach of your undertaking to allow us to see and comment on the articles first, which articles twist the facts, articulate a number of inaccuracies and untruths and seek to slander and defame the Nova Group and its directorate. We are considering our position and our rights in this regard are reserved.
It has become clear to us that any information that is provided by us to Moneyweb, will be twisted and used out of context for the purpose of further negative reporting of and concerning the Nova Group and its directorate and given that no further productive purpose would be served in engaging with Moneyweb, the Nova Group has decided to break off all forms of communication with Moneyweb.
We will accordingly no longer respond to questions Moneyweb pose to us, requests for commentary on proposed articles or for that matter to any articles that Moneyweb might publish, subject of course to a reservation of the right to deal with any matter Moneyweb might publish, in a court of law.
Please ensure, should you elect to publish anything further regarding the Nova Group and any of its functionaries, that you include in such publication our above position, verbatim.
CEO Nova Property Group