Carol Paton Editor at Large

Ayo Technologies, the company in which the Public Investment Corporation invested R4.3bn in December 2017, has launched two court applications aimed at holding on to the investment, it said in a statement on Monday. The investment, which was a private placement when Ayo listed on the JSE, has become controversial due to its large valuation. The PIC bought a 29% stake in the company at R43 a share, implying a valuation of R14.8bn. But a few months before financial statements showed that Ayo had total assets of R292m and a book value of R67m. Since then the share has traded far below the original valuation. The valuation caught the attention of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), which administers aspects of the Companies Act. Last month, the commission served the PIC with a compliance notice instructing its directors to recover the investment on the grounds that they had contravened the Companies Act, by knowingly causing harm to their company. Ayo said it had ...

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