A decision by African Empowerment Equity Investments (AEEI) to list technology hub Ayo on the JSE this week will be a fascinating exercise. Conditions are not exactly conducive for a new listing, with the market on edge in the wake of the Steinhoff International debacle. In addition, technology sector stalwart EOH has been clouded in controversy. It is clear from the prelisting documentation that Ayo has a number of transactions lined up that might be clinched quickly — including the acquisition of the valuable 30% of British Telecoms (BT) from AEEI. AEEI CEO Khalid Abdulla has argued that Ayo companies, which span healthcare data management and digital solutions, are "highly scalable" and that numerous target companies are being engaged. But there remains some scepticism around the company’s ability to raise the envisaged R4.3bn in a private placement ahead of the listing. This would be one of the largest capital-raising exercises seen on the JSE in recent years from a company that...

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