Ayo’s CEO and chief investment officer resign, joining four directors who quit this week
Ayo Technology CEO Kevin Hardy and chief investment officer Siphiwe Nodwele resigned with immediate effect on Friday morning.
The departure of Hardy and Nodwele from the recently listed investment vehicle of Independent Media proprietor Iqbal Survé came two days after Ayo announced a board reshuffle.
Ayo CFO Naahied Gamieldien will be acting CEO until a permanent appointment is made, the company said in Friday’s statement.
On Wednesday, Ayo announced the resignations of directors Khalid Abdulla, Walter Madzonga, Telang Ntsasa and Mbuso Khoza.
They were replaced by Wallace Mgoqi, Dennis George, Sello Rasethaba and Rosemary Mosia.
On August 6, Ayo and African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) — which is about 40% owned by Survé — issued a joint statement saying a proposed related party transaction had been indefinitely delayed.
A probable reason for the delay was closer scrutiny of the deal by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
The PIC came under heavy criticism for buying 29% of Ayo ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) in December at R43 per share only to see it crash to R24 when it started trading on the JSE.
Ayo had intended to acquire the 30% of the South African unit of British Telecoms owned by Survé’s other investment holding company, AEEI.
Details of this deal were never clearly explained to either Ayo or AEEI minority shareholders, but it appears AEEI would have received about a quarter of the IPO money raised from the PIC by Ayo, which would then have been paid as a dividend — meaning Survé stood to pocket about R400m in cash from the PIC’s investment in Ayo.
If not for investigative journalism unit amaBhungane raising the alarm, Survé might have raised a further R7.5bn from the PIC with another proposed IPO called Sagarmatha Technologies.
AEES’s share price fell 7% to R4.20, while Ayo was untraded on Friday morning.