JOHANNESBURG, April 11 – The Black Business Council (BBC) questioned what it called “anti-transformation attempts” to undermine the listing of media and e-commerce company Sagarmatha Technologies, it said in a statement and named as detractors Tiso Blackstar, owners of Business Day and Daily Maverick.
Sagarmatha Technologies describes itself as Africa’s first multi-sided platform company will list on the on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Friday and aims to raise R7.5 billion in a private placement of up to 189 million shares by Wednesday. The JSE has granted Sagarmatha Technologies approval for a listing of up to 1,214,718,441 shares in the media sector on its main board. Sekunjalo Investments — owned by businessman Dr Iqbal Surve — is the main shareholder in Sagarmartha Technologoes. The group’s investments include South Africa’s Independent Media – a rival to Tiso Blackstar — online shopping platform Loot.com and the African News Agency, whose content partners include Xinhua, AP, DPA, Namibia’s NAMPA and Nigeria’s NAN among others.
“The BBC notes that since the announcement was made of the listing, there has been sustained attacks from detractors of Independent Media, in particular Tiso Blackstar, the owners of Business Day and Daily Maverick,” the Council said in a statement. “The nature of these attacks are anti-competitive that serve to only promote an anti-transformative narrative that is designed to keep a significant part of the economy namely, media and e-commerce, in white hands and continue to prohibit the entrance of black people into the mainstream economy,” it said.
BBC said its investment arm BBC Capital had on Monday concluded its transaction to invest in Sagarmatha with an allocation of six million shares valued at R240 million. Sagarmatha’s shareholders include more than two million workers, some of the largest trade unions in the country, civil society groupings, NGOs, black businesses, employees of the various companies and universities.
“The successful conclusion of this transaction is bigger than just participating in an economically fruitful opportunity, it is the BBC’s signal to the monopolies that we as black business are more than just commentators of transformation, but also meaningful players in the economy with the clear intention to demonstrate transformation and the power of black excellence,” said the BBC.
The anticipated market capitalisation of the company will be approximately R49.7 billion, based on more than 1.2 billion shares in issue at a placement price of R39.62 per private placement share. Investors will include Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers and founder of United States investment bank Doley
“This is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment as we have not just invested in a black business but strategically positioned ourselves favourably on the growth trajectory of the ICT sector with the industry leader of choice,” the BBC said.