ROB ROSE: Sam Sithole's new activist venture is taking bulls by the horns
Last December, they bought 15% of Altron for R400m. Within weeks, chairman Bill Venter and his son, CEO Robbie Venter, had resigned. Then, two weeks ago, Value Capital Partners flexed its 14.5% of Adcorp, leading to the 'immediate' departure of CEO Richard Pike and COO Nelis Swart
It’s somewhat ironic that the genesis of Sam Sithole’s new foray into activist investing lies in his ill-fated standoff with Leon Kirkinis at African Bank Investments (Abil), SA’s most dramatic corporate collapse in recent times. As part of his report into the bank’s collapse, advocate John Myburgh singled out Sithole, a former auditor at Deloitte, as one of the few people on Abil’s board to emerge with any credit. The story is that Sithole chaired Abil’s audit committee from 2011, but had become increasingly uncomfortable with CEO Kirkinis’s laissez-faire view of how much cash to set aside to cover for bad debt.