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Life remains weird among the hot ashes of African Bank


Life remains weird among the hot ashes of African Bank

Minority shareholders in African Phoenix Investments have been on a rollercoaster since the business rescue

Ann Crotty

Life for minority shareholders in African Phoenix Investments (API) (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=AXL) has been a bit of a rollercoaster since the company, previously known as African Bank Investment Holdings, emerged from 30 months of business rescue in 2017. A number of key shareholders have come and gone in that time, each with their own plan to score big profits from rearranging the group’s major assets, which include cash of about R1.6bn and an estimated R14bn assessed tax loss.

Value Capital Partners made an early stab at it and, although it didn’t hang around to finish off the job, did manage to make a nice profit on its involvement. Then along came Steyn Capital Management, which pursued plans to build up a black-controlled management company that would use the cash to take up investment opportunities.

Warren Chapman’s Zarclear was next to enter the fray, paying about 80c a share for a 21.8% stake in API in mid-2019. Chapman rather promptly set about unwinding the black fund management business, which was housed in an entity called API Capital. In November he secured shareholder approval to do just that. However, in December, he seemed to change his mind. Briefly there was talk of a setting up another general partner agreement but that was scrapped and Zarclear went ahead with the R55m payout to the lucky API Capital management team...

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