RIAN du Plessis, the multi-millionaire former banker, CEO of Phumelela, renowned career ‘shareholder activist’ and representative of Markus Jooste’s family trust, wants Phumelela to be handed to the UK betting giant Betfred.
Du Plessis, who resigned from Phulemela for ‘personal reasons’ shortly after the audit committee approved financial results for the year to end July, 2018, and left it reeling and in arguably incompetent hands, told Alec Hogg’s Biznews that he is furious about the destruction of shareholder value at the company he left generating an annual profit of R155m.
Du Plessis, who is also Phumelela’s fourth-biggest shareholder, disclosed that he personally offered to pay up to R300m for one of the numerous plum assets in the company, but was ignored by John Evans, the appointed business rescue practitioner.
He said that Phumelela’s creditors, who vote on Tuesday, would be wrong to support vote an apparent lifesaving offer from wealthy horse breeder and owner Mary Slack’s Mary Oppenheimer Daughters (MOD).
MOD’s bid, which is supported, would give creditors just over 70c in the rand, but shareholders very little. Du Plessis said the Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters‘ offer is vague and opaque and from what he can see of it, substantially undervalues the company.
Turf Talk on Thursday addressed questions to Betfred’s Head Of Media, Mark Pearson, including a query on the involvement in their aggressive bidding for Phumelela of Du Plessis and John Stuart, the company’s most recently resigned CEO.
Pearson responded: “You will get an e-mail from the Head Of Our Bid. Thanks”.