đź”’ Premium: Responses to BizNews Share Portfolio update

Received a couple of responses worth sharing received after the introduction of Aveng into the BizNews portfolio.

Yesterday, Aveng chairman Philip Hourquebie (above) set me straight on a couple of things mentioned during last week’s webinar. Particularly that he is long gone from EY having left in June 2014: “It would not be possible to sit on a public company while being at EY. I am, indeed, based in the UK although I never worked for EY in the UK. My last EY role was in Europe.”

Hourquebie added: “Our turnaround (at Aveng) has been extremely challenging but our strategy was well thought-out and we have been lucky to have had great leaders navigate the turnaround supported by a board which has had to hold its nerve, be consistent and committed and make some very tough choices. Sean Flanagan (the CEO) has done a great job building a new leadership team across the group and now pivoting our strategy from restructuring and recapitalising to global sustainable growth. This is certainly an exciting time for the group.”

Then BizNews tribe member Anthony Jackson, a surgeon, said he was delighted that I’ve seen the light. He “started a deep dive into the company, two to three years ago, and also started to see a value unlock in the future – everything management has set out to do has materialised.”

Jackson listed three points which add to the bullish case for the shares:

1) The venture capital arm of JP Morgan now owns over 20% of Aveng and underwrote the rights offer twice.

2) Aveng is in the process of offloading its last non-core business, Trident Steel, which is very profitable and will fetch between R400m and R700m based on earnings – this will come close to alleviating all remaining debt and there might even be a small special dividend for patient shareholders.

3) There is a share consolidation at 500-for-1 taking place and will be traded as such from December the 13th this year. Your 15m shares (in the BizNews portfolio) will become 30 000 and start trading between R25 and R30 [ i.e. the 5c and 6c equivalent ]. Not being a penny stock will attract more institutional investors and also get much more price discovery plus a normalised bid/ask trading range.

More for you to read today (click on linked headline to access) –

*  How Bosses Can Lure Remote Workers Back to the Office. Sure, companies can insist. But there are also things they can do that will make employees want to return.

* Barclays CEO Jes Staley Steps Down Amid Pressure Over Jeffrey Epstein Ties. U.K. lender says regulators had made preliminary conclusions in investigation into relationship.

* Nine Theories of Progressive Power. Leftists want to stay on top, but they also want to profit and seem intelligent.

PS: In Friday’s newsletter we republished a piece from the FT unpacking the murky relationship between Trafigura, a Zimbabwean fuel magnate, Eskom and Cape Town-based Suzako Trading, which has requested a right of reply which reads as follows:

In a fast-changing world, where navigating an impartial energy transition and deteriorating local and global supply chains are paramount, Suzako Trading has sought a first-time solution which is the establishment of a supply of crucial power generating fuel from a source other than a local refinery or port. This allows, for the first time, a diversity of supply at competitive pricing.

Suzako Trading is a 100% South African-owned and controlled level 2 B-BBEE company. The company’s ownership structure is well known to both the Eskom utility and relevant South African authorities. The company has no association with any foreign investors, nor are there any foreign investors in the company.

From the recent article in FT, it appears that there are those who choose to fan the flames of a revenge conspiracy based on hearsay, rather than to investigate what the direct supply from Matola means in substantial relief to the South African fiscus and energy security situation. The coordinated insinuations and attempted sabotage through media by rival bidders, in an open tender, self-evidently underlines that the previous status quo has been disrupted.

Suzako Trading stands by its cost saving solution and would welcome any potential decision by the utility to make the bid pricing public.

Suzako Trading will continue in its unwavering commitment to provide cost effective, innovative solutions to the energy security needs of South Africa and its people.


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