Survé-linked Sagarmatha's JSE listing again shelved

Cape Town - Sagarmatha Technologies, the umbrella company that was hoping to unite the various groups in Iqbal Survé's media empire under a new roof, will not be listing on the JSE Friday as scheduled.

"On 10 April 2018 at 14:00, the Company received a letter from the JSE giving notice to the company that the listing could no longer proceed," said Sagarmatha in a shareholder statement on Wednesday afternoon. 

The company said it had been informed by the JSE that it could not list on the local bourse because it had not submitted the correct financial statements in time.

The stock exchange said Sagarmatha had not its submitted its annual financial statements to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in time for the listing to go ahead.

The tech and media group, however, claimed that it had. 

In addition, the JSE said it failed to release the interim results of the company for the 12 months ending 31 December 2017 by the due date of April 9.

"The company is disappointed that the JSE has made a decision that the listing cannot proceed," it said. "Regrettably therefore due to the JSE’s decision, the company cannot continue with the listing on the 13th of April 2018."

"The company will consult with its advisors and consider its next steps."

'Commitments exceeding R4bn'

In a separate statement, also released on Wednesday, Sagarmatha said that it received "indicative commitments for this listing exceeding R4bn, therefore comfortably meeting the minimum listing requirements of the JSE".  

The technology and media group was hoping to announce Wednesday that it had raised up to R7.5bn in the placement of 189 million of its 1.2 billion shares

It previously said that about R1bn would be used to pay off debt. It was also aiming to use the private placement proceeds to roll out three additional regional offices in Africa, finance growth strategies, improve its current platforms and buy new technology businesses. 

"However, due to the JSE withdrawal of the listing notice, Sagarmatha Technologies is legally bound not to accept these applications from its committed investors.  Sagarmatha Technologies was hopeful it could resolve this issue with the regulator and requested the extension of a new listing date.  However, the JSE has requested the company make provision for a fresh listing application."  

Sagarmatha’s current assets include majority stakes in news wire agency ANA, e-commerce retailer Loot, IOL Property and online news site IOL. 

It was also aiming to buy all the shares in Sekunjalo Independent Media, the holding company that owns a 55% stake in newspaper publisher Independent Media, owner of the Cape Times, the Star and other newspapers.

Sagarmatha previously said that it would have bought these shares by the time it lists on the JSE. 

The way forward

Sagarmatha said that its board would consider a number of options after its listing was shelved. These include offers to purchase "its four largest businesses" by unnamed international investors, and possible listings on the New York Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or again on the JSE. 

It also again hit out at how rival media groups covered the runup to the listing, saying it had been the subject of a "disinformation campaign".

"As with all pioneering moves, boldness is subject to a lot of analysis, and in this case, also vast misunderstanding. This unfamiliarity sadly lent itself to a focus on Independent Media, rather than on the greater picture Sagarmatha Technologies as a whole, represents," it said.  

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