Despite the risk of another defamatory article by Independent Media and its owner, Iqbal Survé, I cannot resist writing about Ayo Technology. 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. The only money raised was from SA’s piggy-bank, the PIC, which bought a 29% stake for R4.3bn. The idea was for AEEI to strip R1bn from...

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