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Survé eyes foreign listings for Sagarmatha

Survé told the commission probing issues at the PIC that Ayo and Sagarmatha were both viable investments despite negative reporting around them.
Surve responded on record to allegations of impropriety against regarding PIC transactions with companies linked to him. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

After failing to list Sagarmatha Technologies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), media owner Iqbal Survé has set his sights on a listing on the New York bourse and others, saying the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) missed an opportunity to invest in an e-commerce company that would rival the likes of Amazon and Alibaba.

Survé made these comments before the PIC commission on Tuesday where he responded, on record, to allegations of impropriety regarding transactions between the PIC and companies under  Sekunjalo Investment Limited, which are ultimately controlled by the Survé family trust.

Read: PIC declined to rid itself of R1bn exposure to Independent Media for ‘political reasons’

Accusations of sabotage by jealous competitor media outlets, charges of racial discrimination and a loss in memory featured in Survé’s testimony.

In summary, his testimony was that the PIC has no exposure to Sagarmatha and that the controversial investment in Ayo Technology Solutions is viable and will remain so if the PIC does not threaten it with negativity and obstacles.

Sagarmatha had planned to list Africa’s “first unicorn”, a tech start-up company with a valuation of more than $1-billion, in 2018 but these ambitions were short-lived when the JSE decided against the listing. The local exchange cited failure by the company to submit financial results on time as reasons for pulling the plug.

Read: And so the unicorn died

Sagarmatha had planned to raise capital of between R3 billion and R7.5 billion through the listing as a “precursor to a much more capital raise on a foreign exchange”. The PIC would have invested R3 billion of this amount and other investors would bring in the rest.

Survé explained to the commission that the listing did not proceed because the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) had baselessly raised an issue with one of Sagarmatha’s subsidiary companies goaded by “negative propaganda” by media competitors.

He said this “forced the JSE to look for a reason to scupper the listing”.

Read: The CIPC opens with an aggressive gambit

New York Stock Exchange and beyond

The “only” reason that Sagarmatha wanted to list on the JSE was that at the time, the South African government did not allow primary listings of companies such as Sagarmatha on foreign exchanges, Survé testified.

“We have applied to the South African Reserve Bank’s exchange control for permission for a primary listing in New York and, or other exchanges,” said Survé.

Survé said he had no doubt that Sagarmatha would reach a market capitalisation of $10 billion dollars on the American bourse.

Previously, the PIC’s general manager for listed equities Lebogang Molebatsi Molebatsi testified that the PIC’s transaction team’s assessment of Sagarmatha revealed that it was overvalued and had no business merit. The transaction team had valued the share at R7.06, significantly lower than Sagarmatha’s asking price of R39.62 per share. The e-commerce company also wanted to use some of the money raised in the public offering to buy Independent Media, which has a R1 billion loan with the PIC.

‘A good friend’

Concerns about Sagarmatha were heightened at the time because the team had just concluded the Ayo transaction in December 2017 where the PIC invested R4.3 billion or R43 per share for a 29% stake in the company despite similar concerns raised by the team that Ayo was overvalued.

The share was trading at around R15 Tuesday morning.

Ayo Technology Solutions

The deal was signed by former acting chief executive Dan Matjila without following proper approval processes and completing the due diligence required.

Read: Ayo investment passed on by Matjila – suspended PIC exec

Victor Seanie, assistant portfolio manager at the PIC, told the commission that Matjila’s close relationship with Survé was the primary driver of the state asset manager’s investment in Ayo. He said in a meeting on the Sagarmatha deal Survé had said that Matjila was a “good friend”.

Evidence leader Advocate Jannie Lubbe asked him to confirm whether he had said this, to which Survé responded: “I don’t recall that at all.”

“Do you deny it,” Lubbe pressed.

“You’re asking me to recall something that happened a long time ago,” Survé retorted.

Commissioner Judge Lex Mpati asked again if this may or may not have happened, to which Survé said: “I don’t think so.”

Survé said he would not describe Matjila as a personal friend but considered him a friend in the context of someone who is successful and whom he had great admiration for.  

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“Survé said he had no doubt that Sagarmatha would reach a market capitalisation of $10 billion dollars on the American bourse.”

Please do so Mr Survé and then use these funds to pay your debt to the PIC and the South African taxpayers.

This entire charade is bizarre in the extreme and how this character has been allowed to milk the PIC is an indication of just how far into state collapse SA is.

Someone needs to draw a picture, probably in crayons, on the difference between market cap and actual book value, i.e what your business is actually worth. Take out the PIC cash, and this loss-making business is essentially only worth what you could get from selling the assets, (any takers for the Cape Times?)
The delusion is very strong with this one, yet having connections in high places and a few judicious brown envelopes, and he continues to enjoy the fruit of his theft. Makes me sick.

Surve’ caused the liquidation of Leisure Net through dishonesty with Lehman Brothers. He was never brought to book on that matter thanks to his ANC pals.
Now he is masquerading as a PDI entrepreneur who has been hard done by.
The only AYO earnings are interest from PIC funds courtesy of state pensions.
Many like the crosswords in his papers and that gives him some circulation of his newspapers. The drivel that is provided as news is awful let alone the crusade they make of defending their Lord and Master – nauseating!!
Let him go insolvent and pay the price of his sins then
strike him out of SA’s corporate realm and leave him with Alice in Wonderland.

Welcome to another episode of Keeping Up With Dr. Survé, proudly and obliviously sponsored by the average state pensioner.

Wow, this guy is quite a character. “Rival amazon”, “raise billions niw, then many more billions in future” (not sure what literate prospective investor would want to hear that he’s about to be heavily diluted bit there you go). Have to hand it to him: for someone who apparently can barely speak English, he’s done well for himself. Still, if this was my office (or anywhere but S.A. frankly), he wouldn’t get past the front desk

I really hope the enquiry lets him continue his testimony. I want to hear how he cured AIDS in his kitchen laboratory and how he single-handedly saved the planet from an alien invasion from the planet Nincompoop.

According to the great man himself these are the least of his accomplishments.

And just why is this man not locked up?

In Weskoppies?

Brilliant comment!

So now your after stealing “wmc”? – hypocrite, just like your anc handlers!

If I closed my eyes, Im sure I could be listening to the same BS that came out of the mouth of Marcus jooste during his questioning…

No, you’re confusing horses with unicorns.

I don’t think that Commission of Inquiry has commissioners capable to understand and thoroughly apply their minds to the investments made, whether they made sense or not. At this rate if things were to go to court and the commission findings are presented, the State would lose.

I’m sure the Venezuela Stock Exchange would accommodate him.

Nelson Mandela’s “personal physician”. Enough said. Chain him to Ace, Jooste and Watson, lock them up and throw away the key

One could create a tv drama based on the conversation if Jooste, Iqbal, Tom Moyane and Gavin Watson would have, while locked in a cell together for 20 years. Walter Mitty ain’t seen nothin yet!

The ANC used taxpayers/pensioners money, through Surve, to buy Independent Newspapers, to promote ANC propaganda.

When John Vorster did the same with the Citizen, he was booted out of power, for miss-use of government funds.

The deranged deluded doc reminds me of Carol Burnett only she told better jokes!

My mother worked her whole life and is on a pension scheme that this man is draining and she has to wash other people clothes to make a living.

End of comments.

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