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IGI NAME COULD RISE FROM ASHES

Cape Town – Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), the empowerment company, could wake IGI Insurance, once a core operating subsidiary, from a six-year slumber on the JSE after last week`s high court ruling setting aside a long-standing curatorship at the defunct short-term insurer. Deon van Staden, the head of registration and policy at the Financial Services Board, said shareholders in IGI could apply to the JSE to lift the six-year suspension on the share if they could present new assets and a new business plan. IGI, a household name in insurance until it ran into trouble after bad investments like Tollgate, Interboard and Time Holdings in the early 1990s, was placed under curatorship in 1993. HCI is the biggest shareholder in IGI with a 55,5 percent stake. “At the moment there is some value in IGI … not much, but there are a couple of buildings that are jointly owned in Johannesburg,” van Staden said. He stressed that IGI`s insurance licence had been withdrawn. The setting aside of the curatorship prompted the return of IGI`s remaining assets to shareholders and followed the payment of R1,04 to the rand to all known creditors. Marcel Golding, the chairman of HCI, was not available for comment yesterday but a company spokesman said a scheme of arrangements had been put forward regarding alternatives for the suspended IGI shell. “At this moment the alternatives could include finding another party to acquire the cash shell as a listing vehicle in which HCI would retain a minority stake.” He said HCI could also look at separately listing one of its interests in media, gaming or technology via the IGI shell. “We are still exploring possibilities.” He said HCI had asked any outstanding creditors to come forward to substantiate claims against IGI. There has been speculation that IGI could relist following a Business Report article in mid-1996 that revealed a mystery buyer trying to snap up IGI shares by offering shareholders 40c a share.

Source: Business Report – Marc Hasenfuss