Health-care group Ascendis, which is battling a debt pile of more than 20 times its R294m market capitalisation, has appointed Cheryl-Jane Kujenga as its new CFO with effect from December.

Kujenga has held various positions at a number of private and listed companies in SA, and was a partner at Ernst & Young from 2008 to 2017, before becoming CFO at Adcorp. She led Adcorp through a balance sheet restructuring process and later served as interim CEO from October 2019 to May 2020, Ascendis said.

Ascendis announced in June that CFO Kieron Futter would step down at the end of September after five years with the company.

That announcement came shortly after the group said it had successfully reached new terms with lenders. This agreement pushed back debt payments until the end of 2021, buying it additional time to sell assets.

Ascendis had debt of R7.96bn in its year to end-June and said recently it launched an open-auction process for selling its prized Cyprus-based Remedica unit, which generated almost a third of group revenue in its year to end-June.

The group is also looking to sell its Animal Health business, which generated about 7%, or R489m in revenue, to end-June.


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