PIC looking to limit funding of multiple companies linked to same owner

The Public Investment Corporation is considering a regulation that would allow it to limit the funding of multiple businesses controlled by the same individual or consortium. 

According to Royith Rajdhar, the corporation's executive head of impact investing, such a proposal has been tabled to a committee.

Rajdhar was on Wednesday testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry into the PIC. The commission is investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the state-run asset manager, which manages about R2.2trn in investments on behalf of public servants.

Daybreak farms 

He told the commission that in 2015 a consortium represented by businessman Kholofelo Maponya and Matome Maponya Investment Holdings approached the PIC for funding to acquire struggling poultry business Daybreak Farms. 

A number of entities associated with Maponya had received PIC funding, including R367m for a stake in agricultural services company Afgri, R480m for a SA Home Loans deal and R79m towards affordable housing development Magae Makhaya.  

Assistant Commissioner Emmanuel Lediga asked Rajdhar if the funding of entities linked to one person was not favouritism.

In response, Rajdhar said the PIC was in the process of developing a mechanism that would "limit instances where we support a single individual or grouping".

"That document is going through the committee at the moment," he said.

The commission earlier heard that companies linked to Cape Town businessman Iqbal Survé had received about R5.35bn in funding from the PIC. This included a R200m investment in Premier Fishing, R4.3bn in AYO Technology Solutions, and R850m in Independent Media.

Sagarmatha, also part of the Sekunjalo stable which Survé heads, had hoped to receive R3bn from the PIC, but the deal fell through.

The commission continues on Monday. 

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