IOL and Loot owner eyes R7.5 billion JSE listing

Sagarmatha Technologies Ltd has confirmed that it plans to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange this week.

The company will be listed as ‘Sagarmath’ with the share code – SGT – within the media sector (broadcast and entertainment sub-sector), contingent on raising a minimum amount of R3 billion, reports Business Report.

However the transaction is likely to be substantially larger, according to Reuters, with Sagarmatha stating that it plans raise R7.5 billion ($636 million) in a share placement of 189.3 million shares at R39.62 rand each.

Investors are to include Jim Rogers, the longtime Asian bull and co-founder of hedge fund, Quantum Fund.

“Rogers has agreed to buy between R100 million and R150 million worth of shares while Harold Doley, who was the U.S. representative to the African Development Bank during the 1980s and founder of U.S investment bank Doley Securities, has given a similar undertaking,” Reuters said.

“The placement values the Cape Town-based company at nearly R50 billion, underpinned by one of the country’s largest offering of newspapers that include The Star and The Sunday Independent,” it said.

Who’s in charge

Sagarmatha is led by joint CEOs, Grant Fredericks and Gary Hadfield.

Fredericks focuses on business development across Africa, in light of his many years in media and content syndication, whereas Hadfield is said to bring his ‘proven track record’ in the e-commerce sector to bear, the report said.

According to its pre-listing documentation, Sagarmatha Technologies Limited is “an integrated African technology platform group with aspirations to become the African leader in e-commerce, digital media and syndicated content and technology ventures as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

It currently owns the following:

  • 95% of ANA – a content syndication and news wire agency;
  • 83.3% of Loot Online – a general merchandise online retailer;
  • 60% of IOL Property JV – an online classifieds business specialising in property;
  • 100% of Independent Online – an online news business; and
  • 100% of Sagarmatha Enterprise Solutions.

The listing, which will take place this Friday, will reduce its majority shareholder, Sekunjalo Holdings, stake from 73% to 60%, Reuters said.

Sekunjalo, led by Cape Town businessman Iqbal Survé, bought a 55% stake in Independent Media in 2013. However, In addition to the above companies, Sagarmatha said it would acquire a controlling interest in Independent Media prior to the listing.

As a result of this acquisition, Sagarmatha will own an effective 55% interest in Independent Media, which is said to be the main asset behind its weighty listing target.

Read: Two JSE-listed companies that are set to win big in the electric car revolution

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IOL and Loot owner eyes R7.5 billion JSE listing