STAR performing e-tv majority shareholder Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) is rumoured to be among the interested bidders for the National Empowerment Consortium’s 27.8% stake in Johnnic Holdings.
HCI CEO Johnny Copelyn said he could not confirm or deny the possibility.
The company’s shares have run rapidly since their relisting in September following a long period of suspension relating to the uncertainty around its possible delisting from the JSE Securities Exchange. The consortium which included management withdrew its offer of R3 50 a share when no settlement could be reached regarding a legal challenge from remaining institutional shareholder UK based Marathon Asset Management . On thin volumes the shares have since run as high as R18.50.
Another bidder rumoured to be interested in Johnnic is Kagiso.
Kagiso Media CEO Roger Jardine said the radio focused group was definitely not involved in a bid for Johnnic. But Kagiso also has private equity interests. Asked if these might be involved in a bid Jardine said he did not and would not ordinarily know about transactions the private equity interests were engaged in.
Only one consortium so far formed by non executive chairman Cyril Ramaphosa and non-executive directors Phuthuma Nhleko and Mashudu Ramano has owned up to its intention of taking a stake in Johnnic. Johnnic s biggest asset is a 62.5% stake in Johnnic Communications and it has been under pressure for some time to eliminate this pyramid structure in terms of the JSE Securities Exchange’s rules. But it has emphasized the need to do that in conjunction with maintaining or strengthening its empowerment share holding JSE listings head John Burke told Moneyweb recently that it was satisfied that there were complex issues involved and with the board s undertaking that the company was working towards collapsing the structure.
In September, Johnnic announced that it had formed an independent committee to consider eliminating the pyramid structure and bolstering the group’s empowerment credentials. This week it said the committee had received “certain proposals” in this regard and was in the process of appointing an independent advisor to advise on these restructuring proposals. Only once that advisor had considered those proposals would a detailed announcement be published Johnnic said. There are rumoured to have been four to five bids put on the table.
Former Johnnic chief operating officer Jacob Modise resigned recently out of frustration that the process of sorting out the structure was taking so long.

Source: Moneyweb Digest – Belinda Anderson