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Tekkie Town Two – the sequel and rival – could be on the way

Braam van Huyssteen is considering his options.

Braam van Huyssteen, the founder of Tekkie Town which is now embroiled in a number of legal disputes with Steinhoff Africa Retail (to be renamed Pepkor) and its parent, Steinhoff, indicated in an interview that launching a rival to the company he built over a number of decades and sold to Steinhoff in 2016 is one of the options he is currently considering.

Listen: Let’s get going with Tekkie Town Two

When asked on the Moneyweb at Midday show on Thursday what he would do if he could not get Tekkie Town back (through litigation or other means), he stated: “As I have explained to you, we did financially quite well from that transaction [referring to the sale of 42% of the business to private equity firm Actis as a minority investor for R700 million in 2014]. So financially we are in a very strong position. I know that I have the full support of all the management, I have the full support of all our suppliers, and I have the full support of all the landlords that I have built relationships with over the years. There is really nothing in my way to start a competitor. Obviously it’s very sad that it has to go that way, but if that is the way it has to go, let’s get going with Tekkie Town Two. We have done it before, we can obviously do it much faster this time because we have got enough money, we have got resources, we have got the relationships, nothing is going to stop us.”

Van Huyssteen is only 53, so there is plenty of time for him to build the sequel to his first act. He would also be following in the footsteps of other retail tycoons like Raymond Ackerman and Stanley Lewis who had to start over.

But when we got in touch with Van Huyssteen after the interview to ascertain more details, he was more circumspect, saying that he hasn’t made any plans and would like to see how things “pan out” in the next few weeks.

Ron Rink, the ex-CEO of Puma South Africa who began working with Van Huyssteen and Tekkie Town in 2003, thinks competitors better pay attention. “I am not party to what is going on inside Star/Pepkor at the moment, nor what Braam’s plans are going forward. I met him when he owned just one store and watched as he and his team grew their business over the years. I had to convince my team in the beginning that he was going to be one of the leading retailers in the country, at a time when Edgars and others were the powerhouses in the footwear sector, and now look. He is a talented entrepreneur, has boundless energy, and is very determined. If he does establish another chain in the footwear sector he is going to be a major player and the competitors would want to be aware of him.”

Van Huyssteen has already terminated his employment with Pepkor, leaving him free to mull his options. His loss may not be as great to Pepkor as it would be if the executive committee of the Speciality Fashion and Footwear division, which are largely all ex-Tekkie Town executives, follow suit and go with him. That would be a crippling loss to the company that could drastically revise the projections of the growth in the business that to date has performed exceptionally well under Pepkor.

Read: Tekkie Town founder resigns from Star with immediate effect

COMMENTS   13

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Go Braam..! I know that the suits at STAR will have their work cut out to compete.

I hope that he succesfully sues them. Interesting comment about Markus Jooste when he said that Markus will get his day in court and that he (Braam) is not God and cannot judge Markus. He prefers to look ahead. We can all learn from such an attitude..!

We need more entrepreneurs like him in SA. We dont need more of the corporate cats like Pieter Erasmus and others..

To me Braam sounds like a real whiner. Stop threatning and crying and do whatever you want. By his own admission he made out with millions. Cant be that clever if he lost his business to criminals. So tired of the whinging of wiese, braam etc. What about the pensioners who lost on there portfolios with no recourse or millions in the bank. They are the true victims in this saga…. definitely not the millionare cry babies.

One good thing Steinhoff’s management did was kicking him out, and also kicking Wiese out.

It amuses me to think that Braam is actually trying to break away from his business partners who were selling Horses to one another as if it is pocket change, going to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of the minds — and money — is held in Davos, Switzerland, etc… Ever wonder how a local businessman who started as a small retailer burst on the scene to form tekkie town as it is known to day… you got to get your hands dirty, if you want to get where Braam is now.

it brings me back to the same old quote by Michael Corleone: “just when I thought I was out, they Pull me back in”

On a brighter note, Braam if I had the capital, I would be competitor from the word “go”. Goodluck!

And if his new venture goes public I will be one of the first to buy shares..!

What??? Invest in a guy who made a deal based on his mutual interest with another person in horse racing. I wouldnt invest in him with someone else’s money. What if he befrirends someone at his weekly pigeon racing club.

I love this comment! thanks for getting everyone else on the same page!

You can hear from this interview that Braam is one of the few men with integrity still left in the corporate space

Hope he wins the case – if not, will be great for him to start something new

I feel integrity is a bit of strong word to use here.

He wants to work for them on one of the top positions, with high pay, and yet he’s opening a court case against them, and using whatever information he can collect while working for them, against them in the court, what action should the management and share holders do or demand to do? of course he must go and find a job elsewhere, he’s got a huge amount of money, he has no worries to be thrown to the street like what happened or going to happen to many share holders that trusted him and all other management of Steinhoff and Deloitte.

He’s made a billion rand (other than what he spent) out of Steinhoff, and yet he wants more money and complaining about an incentive at a time when all share holders have lost huge amounts of money. And above that he wants the court to reverse an agreement and a business deal he signed 2 years ago and was very happy with it while the share price was high.

He was partly paid with worthless Steinhoff script that he could not sell … in fact he got very little cash out of the deal. Steinhoff acted in bad faith knowing full well that they had short changed Braam.

The deal should be undone in its entirety and the status quo reverted to prior to the signing of the deal. Braam may just succeed.

John33, you sound very bitter mate, did you lose money on SNH?

Next time what company you start, please float it at the exchange for public participation in the early stages of the company. Goodluck on your court action against the Stellie mafia.

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