Iqbal Surve’s Sagarmatha Technologies announced it would not list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Friday this week as a result of non-compliance with the exchange’s listing requirements.
The company claims it has received capital commitments exceeding R4-billion, but could not legally accept them.
The announcement on Wednesday night came in place of an anticipated report on whether the company’s private placement had been successful. Instead in a Sens announcement, Sagarmatha said it was notified by the JSE on Tuesday afternoon the listing could not proceed because the company did not submit its annual financial statements to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) at the time when the pre-listing statement was approved by the JSE. Consequently, this meant it did not comply with Section 33 of the Companies Act, and in turn the JSE listing requirements.
Up until now, it was understood that Sagarmatha had the green light to list on the JSE on the condition that it could raise R3-billion by way of private placements.
In a media statement on Wednesday night, Sagarmatha said “Sagarmatha Technologies confirms that it received indicative commitments for this listing exceeding R4-billion, therefore comfortably meeting the minimum listing requirements of the JSE.”
Although touted as an African tech giant in the making, analysts doubted the money would be raised given the company, the core of which is the Independent Media assets, was a collection of loss-making assets and technically insolvent – much of which are owned by businessman and media boss Iqbal Survé. It was speculated the only way the money would be raised was if the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) yet again put government employee pension funds behind the venture.
Sagarmatha said its listing was the most scrutinised in South Africa’s history.
According to Sagarmatha’s Sens announcement, the JSE told the company it was not aware these financial statements had not been submitted to the Commission at the time it approved its pre-listing statement.
The JSE further stated that the company failed to release the interim results of the Company for the 12-month period ending December 31 2017, by no later than April 9 2018. Sagarmatha released these on Tuesday (April 10) at midday.
Sagarmatha said on Wednesday it received written confirmation from CIPC that it is compliant from this date with the Companies Act and its financials have been lodged with CIPC as required by the Companies Act.
Sagarmatha said the required interim results were half a business day late and it was “disappointed that the JSE has made a decision that the listing cannot proceed as a result”.
The JSE has requested the company make provision for a fresh listing application, it said in a press statement.
But according to the company, there are a number of opportunities ahead of it: “The Sagarmatha Technologies board is now considering options that include: offers to purchase from international investors for its four largest businesses; and/or listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Hong Kong Exchange as primary; and/or a primary listing on the JSE and a secondary listing or, and/or a dual listing.”