Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Specialist technology hub Cognition Holdings is facing fierce resistance from certain shareholders — including media magnate William Kirsh — in its bid to buy an online property marketing venture from its major shareholder Caxton and CTP Printers and Publishers. Speaking to Business Day on Friday, Kirsh — who founded Primedia — said the proposed deal lacked strategic logic and would also financially benefit Caxton at the expense of Cognition shareholders. In October Cognition, which specialises in active data exchange services and permission-based marketing strategies, proposed acquiring Caxton’s 50.01% stake in Private Property for R127m. The deal will be settled by issuing 106-million Cognition shares at 120c/share. Caxton already owns a 34.7% stake in Cognition, and the proposed deal will push its holding to about 65%. Minority shareholders are being asked to waive their rights to a mandatory offer. Cognition punts Private Property as one of SA’s largest property portals with sig...

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