In just a few days, Taste Holdings will know if its minority shareholders still have the stomach to digest the sour brand of news it seems to be routinely dishing out. Famously, Taste has the exclusive licence in SA for two of the world’s biggest brands: coffee brand Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza. Only, it turns out, launching superstar brands in SA is ruinously expensive. So once again Taste is asking its shareholders to bail it out — following several rights offers in recent years, which have raised R1.06bn. At a meeting to be held on January 18, Taste will ask shareholders to provide it with R132m. It’ll represent major dilution for the shareholders, who have seen the value of their investment fall 95% in five years, as Taste will effectively double its share capital. Chances are good that Taste will get the money. It has the backing of its major shareholder, the Riskowitz Value Fund (RVF), which already holds 66%. The fund, run by founder Sean Riskowitz, probably has no option at...

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