Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHIUZEN
Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHIUZEN

Iqbal Survé’s Ayo Technology Solutions said on Wednesday it is engaged in a court battle with Sasol over that company’s termination of an ICT services deal reportedly worth R2.3bn.

Ayo said it declared a dispute, provided for in the contract, after Sasol gave six months’ notice in October to terminate the deal.

Sasol had, however, initiated urgent proceedings in the high court in Cape Town in December, which Ayo is opposing on procedural and substantive grounds, the group said.

The Daily Maverick had reported on Wednesday that Ayo may lose an important source of revenue, saying the “significant contract”  Ayo referred to in a release of financial statements in December was Sasol.

This is just the latest blow for Ayo, which has been the subject of a Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) investigation into alleged share price manipulation.

A commission of inquiry into impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is also investigating whether Ayo benefited unduly from PIC investments.

Former Ayo CEO Kevin Hardy has said in a statement to the PIC commission that the deal with Sasol was worth R2.3bn over a seven-year period. The deal had been struck in May 2018.

Ayo said after markets closed on Wednesday that  “notwithstanding the dispute, Ayo continues to render ICT services to Sasol pending the finalisation of the arbitration and High Court proceedings”.

“Ayo is committed to finding a mutually acceptable solution with Sasol to the matter,” the group said.

Ayo’s share price has already fallen 63.61% so far in January, bringing its loss for the last two years to almost 97%.

Its market capitalisation stood at R451m on Thursday morning.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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