Media magnate William Kirsh leads Cognition shareholder revolt
Shareholders will be asked to vote on the acquisition of a 50.1% stake in online real estate marketing platform Private Property
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,...