The country’s biggest asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), recently increased its holding in property fund Texton to 18.9% from 5.2%. The move prompted Texton management to claim this was a vote of confidence in their company. They can’t be serious. Does the Texton board not realise the PIC was not a willing buyer of the 13% stake in Texton? It was merely claiming the security it demanded from the BEE shareholders back in 2014 when it funded their investment in Texton, which was trading at R11.40 at the time. The share is currently trading at R4.15.In terms of the five-year old financing arrangement the PIC believes Texton is now obliged to buy back that chunk of shares at the same R11.40 a piece.Presumably in the pre-Brexit days of 2014 Texton’s property portfolio, which includes well-placed UK assets, was attractive enough to persuade the BEE investors to accept the PIC’s unusually tough financing terms, chief of which involved the surrender of the shares. The P...

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