Something wrong with the maths around Iqbal Survé's Ayo, Magda Wierzycka says
'I listed Sygnia with no advisers at zero placement fee. I should have called myself Wierzycka Corporate Finance and paid myself millions'
Sygnia Group CEO Magda Wierzycka has raised serious questions about Iqbal Survé's attempt to list Ayo Technology in a column for Business Day.
Wierzycka suggested that the resignation of the company's CEO and chief investment officer last week may have been a move to distance them from potential liability related to Ayo.
A week ago, the company’s CEO, chief investment officer and nonexecutive directors, including Khalid Abdulla, the CEO of JSE-listed AEEI (a company 40% owned by Survé), resigned. This was an event seemingly triggered by the news that sale of AEEI’s stake in British Telecoms (BT) to Ayo had been delayed indefinitely. One can only guess that everyone jumped ship to distance AEEI from Ayo and the directors from any liability.
Ayo used to be owned by AEEI. It listed very quietly on the JSE in December 2017 at a share price of R43, valuing the company at R14.8bn. For a company which, in the prior year, made a profit of just R26.8m, that is quite a stretch. The true valuation was probably closer to, generously, R268m.
Referring to "small details in the pre-listing statement that really matter", she said AEEI had been paid a "placement fee" of R57.7m for bringing the PIC on board.
"I listed Sygnia with no advisers at zero placement fee. I should have called myself Wierzycka Corporate Finance and paid myself millions," she wrote.