Ascendis Health has experienced a huge reversal of fortune. Its share price has gone from almost R30 in September 2016 to just above R10 at present or what it was at listing in November 2013 on the JSE, now with a secondary listing on A2X. Its majority shareholder, private equity firm Coast2Coast, is obviously very unhappy about this, as are any institutional and retail investors who thought this new entrant to the listing space had great promise and upside appeal. Six months ago, the incumbent CEO Karsten Wellner was replaced by Thomas Thomsen. His work was certainly cut out for him, requiring the design of a turnaround strategy to simplify and strengthen the core businesses of pharma and consumer healthcare, reduce financial leverage, improve return on equity (RoE) and decrease the volatility of cash conversion. We need a few reporting periods under his belt to determine whether the strategy is going to be effective. The company’s latest annual results were delayed, which is alway...

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