Niche technology player Cognition Holdings hosts an intriguing general meeting on Friday where shareholders will be asked to vote on the acquisition of a 50.1% stake in online real estate marketing platform Private Property for R127m. The deal, on paper, has merit as cash-flush Cognition is determined to construct new operational platforms in the digital space, a development that might create more market interest in the much-overlooked company. But the deal has also raised the hackles of certain shareholders, namely media magnate William Kirsh, who has formed a voting block to oppose the transaction. There are a number of contentious issues. The vendor of the controlling stake in Private Property is media conglomerate Caxton, which also holds a 34.7% stake in Cognition. The price of the scrip-settled deal of 120c a share, which will increase Caxton’s stake to about 63%, has certainly irked Kirsh who sees a fairer value between 180c a share to 200c a share. In its 2018 annual report,...

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