In one of the most painful years for investors on the JSE, alternative energy group Montauk — which produces gas and electricity from US-based landfill sites — has been a standout performer, with its shares up almost 90% to date. For those not familiar with this remarkable story, Montauk was unbundled from empowerment company Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) and separately listed on the JSE in late 2014. The market was not interested initially, and the shares traded as low as 220c in early 2015, when Montauk held a market capitalisation of just R300m. But investors gradually started to grasp Montauk’s commercial advantages — especially the considerable incentives paid to US-based companies for producing "green energy". The comparative (attractive) valuations on Montauk’s peers also made deep-value investors take note. Today Montauk has a market value of close to R13bn — which makes it bigger than former parent company HCI (with a market capitalisation of about R12bn). This has ...

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