Johannesburg - Embattled AltX-listed micro-lender African Dawn Capital (Afdawn) has announced a number of high-profile appointments to its board. This follows a shareholder revolt at its annual general meeting (AGM) two weeks ago, which resulted in the sacking of three executives.
On Wednesday, the company announced that Robert Emslie, former CEO of Absa Corporate and Business Bank, former banks registrar Christo Wiese and former head of Coronation Capital Adolf Potgieter had all joined its board in a non-executive capacity.
Following the announcement, Afdawn's share price rose by 9% to 100c on Thursday morning.
At the group's AGM on October 1, CEO Marius van Tonder, financial director Connie van Nieuwkerk and chief operating officer De Wet Vivier were booted from the board after problems arose at one of its subsidiary investments.
It followed revelations that one of its associates - Allegro - had placed funds with Corporate Money Managers which has recently been placed under curatorship after irregularities were discovered.
The shareholders - led by banking group Nedbank - removed the executives and took control of their shares, which amounted to about 32% of the listed equity business.
Nedbank was holding the shares as security against a loan extended to the directors after a single stock futures (SSF) transaction went pear-shaped in late 2008.
Still, stockbrokerage Imara SP Reid recently advised clients to avoid the stock until further clarity emerged on where the business was heading and the underlying model became clearer.
Head of research at Imara SP Reid Stephen Meintjes labelled the latest development as positive, as it showed Nedbank was not planning to liquidate the company. However, Meintjes did say one has to ask where the company will find funding to follow its strategy.
Companies involved in microlending live and die by their ability to raise affordable funding lines. An inability to raise funding means they are unable to extend loans and generate revenue from this.
While Nedbank may be a potential source of funding, it remains to be seen whether the bank will extend funds to Afdawn to help the company resume its growth strategy.
Investec Private Client Securities advised its clients to avoid the stock until new management was put in place.
"In the near term we could see significant write-downs of goodwill, as there is about 80c [per share] of goodwill on the balance sheet," Investec said, adding it will look at Afdawn's interim results, due out at the end of November, for further clues.