Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Iqbal Surve has swept together a collection of insolvent, unprofitable media-related assets and plans to list them on the JSE on Friday, following an initial placement priced at R39.62 a share. The placement price gives the new company, called Sagarmatha, a market capitalisation of R50bn, placing it second to Naspers in the media sector and substantially ahead of Caxton. Surve, through family trusts, will be the controlling shareholder of the new multibillion-rand listed entity. The unprofitable assets will form the basis of what Sagarmatha’s joint CEOs, Grant Fredericks and Gary Hadfield, describe as "Africa’s first multisided platform company, an Africa unicorn and a leader in digital innovation on the continent". Jim Rogers, a well-regarded international investor and member of Sagarmatha’s advisory board, has given an irrevocable undertaking to subscribe for between R100m and R150m worth of shares. Harold Doley, who was the US representative to the African Development Bank during...

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