Brimstone Investment Corp was one of the first black empowerment investment companies launched at the dawn of democracy in the mid-1990s. It has endured, and now holds a well-diversified portfolio of investments with a gross value of more than R11bn. In some ways, Brimstone follows the old Rembrandt (now Remgro) model with its main investments being well managed, brand rich, cash-spinning and profitable. The group also prides itself on generous dividend payouts, aligned to its determination to support its large community shareholder base. Co-founders Fred Robertson and Mustaq Brey are still the prime movers, though a new generation is coming through. Robertson and Brey must be acutely aware of the large discount the market is placing on Brimstone’s shares. At the end of December Brimstone showed an intrinsic NAV of 1,615c a share — which, at the time of writing, represented a discount of close to 45%. This is a hectic discount for a counter that has consistently delivered dividends,...

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