Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO
Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO

Iqbal Survé’s Sagarmatha Technologies, which failed to list on the JSE a year ago, has set its sights on an offshore listing, according to Survé’s newspaper Business Report.

Sagarmatha, a technology company within the Sekunjalo investment group, has already made an application to the SA Reserve Bank, the publication said, citing Survé, the chair of Independent Media.

In early 2018, Sagarmatha’s listing on the JSE — along with a mooted listing in New York — was scuppered by its failure to submit financial statements on time. At the time, analysts said Sagarmatha’s valuation ambitions were overly optimistic.

But Survé blamed the failed listing on a “smear campaign” by the media and on SA investors misunderstanding the multi-sided platform business model used by Sagarmatha and the likes of Uber.

Sagarmatha’s assets include African News Agency; online retailer Loot; Independent Online; and Sagarmatha Enterprise Solutions. Proceeds from the group’s failed listing would have been used to buy Sekunjalo Independent Media, which controls Independent Newspapers.

Survé told the commission of inquiry into the affairs of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in early April that Sagarmatha would probably have had a valuation of $10bn (R140bn) in New York if its listing went ahead.

In the year to end-March 2018, Sagarmatha made a loss of R70m while turnover from its e-commerce business rose to R359.7m, Business Report said.

Redwood Valuation Partners had valued the group’s e-commerce business at $1.2bn and its other platforms at more than $2bn, “giving a total valuation of more than $3.5bn, which is in line with Jumia”, Business Report said.

MTN-associate Jumia, which makes annual revenues of €130.6m (R2.1bn), listed in New York last week. Its shares jumped 75% on the first day of trade.

“Survé also expressed his disappointment that the JSE had to miss this opportunity,” Business Report said. The publication added that Survé planned to list up to 50% of Sagarmatha offshore.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za