Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

African Phoenix Investments (API), the company that emerged when African Bank Investment Limited (Abil) came out of business rescue, says it plans to fast-track the repurchase of preference shares after an investor delayed the transaction.

API’s plan was to pay R507m for the 13.5-million preference shares issued by African Bank in the years leading up to its collapse in 2014.

While the scheme was approved by investors, a shareholder that voted against it requested that the company seek court approval before it went ahead. The court is scheduled to hear the matter on Wednesday.

African Phoenix said the fulfillment date of the scheme had been pushed back from April 8 to July 8. “The board, however, intends to conduct the court proceedings as efficiently as possible to ensure that any delay in implementation is minimised,” it said.

The repurchase would “align the capital structure with the company’s strategy”.

The group said on Tuesday that its net asset value per share edged up to 53c from 52c in the six months to end-March thanks to growth in interest-income earned on cash investments net of operating expenses.

“Phoenix has made significant strides in implementing its strategy,” it said.

The API Capital platform aims to invest capital within the next 12 months, and is conducting due diligence processes on two investment opportunities, the group said.

“A further three investment opportunities are at [a] non-binding offer stage after having secured investment committee approval.”

API said it is considering “a number of strategic options” to advance subsidiary Stangen’s strategy to reach the scale required to operate as an insurance company “with a niche market proposition”.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za