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AYO defends PIC investment: Take all our revenue into account

Feb 28 2019 19:07
Fin24

AYO Technology Solutions says it has received a copy of the compliance notice issued by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), but the notice is based on "incorrect" information.

This after the Public Investment Corporation confirmed on Tuesday that it was issued with a compliance notice on February 21, which requires it to recover the capital investment made to AYO within 15 business days of the date of the notice, and provide the commissioner of the CIPC with confirmation.

According to the notice, it must also recover any interest that may have accrued on the investment within six months.

The CIPC stated that based on the available turnover figures, the PIC did not act in good faith and in the best interests of the company when "it decided to invest the disproportionate amount of R4.3bn in AYO".

The watchdog added that the PIC had failed its fiduciary responsibility and put the PIC in jeopardy.

According to the CIPC, failure to comply with the notice may result in prosecution, with a maximum fine or 12 months' imprisonment.

The PIC has since said that it has appointed Gwina Attorneys to assist it in recovering the R4.3bn capital it invested in AYO.

The R4.3bn bought 99.8 million shares at R43 per share, amounting to a 29.9% stake in AYO. Controversy has surrounded the allegedly inflated share price, which valued AYO at R14.8bn although  its assets were estimated at R292m, Bloomberg previously reported.

'Incomplete revenue'

But in a SENS statement on Thursday afternoon, AYO said the CIPC notice was "incorrect for several reasons". 

"AYO, as the CIPC would be aware, is comprised of a number of subsidiaries,  associates and related investment companies ('the AYO Group')," it said. It added that the CIPC failed to take into account all the revenue generated by the company and that the notice was based on incomplete revenue.

"The CIPC should have based its opinion on AYO Group revenue, which is contained in annual reports and the pre-listing statement." 

After initially saying it had not seen the notice, AYO said it had since received a copy of the notice on February 27.

'Disinformation'

It has previously said that it believed the notice was possibly influenced by a disinformation campaign of "media houses and individual journalists".

The CIPC was established under the Companies Act to assist with registering companies, monitoring disclosure of information on business registers, licencing business rescue practitioners, and monitoring compliance with relevant financial legislation, among other things.

AYO is linked to businessman Iqbal Survé, the executive chairman of Independent News Media, who holds an indirect stake in AYO through African Equity Empowerment Investments. Survé once described Matjila as a friend, according to evidence by PIC Assistant Portfolio Manager, Victor Seanie.

pic  |  cipc  |  ayo  |  pic commission of inquiry
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