Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

Albie Cilliers, the activist terror of Sovereign Foods, Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) and now African Phoenix, says he’s always been an outsider. "Even as a child, I was never particularly comfortable in groups, and I always believed you have to push back against bullies, or they’ll keep stomping on you," he says. That is something he has done with profound success over the past three years. It started with Sovereign Foods, the poultry company from Uitenhage that he felt was unfairly oppressing minority shareholders by not giving them a say on an empowerment scheme. "I’d always just been a passive investor, but when I saw what Sovereign was trying, I realised that executives will often screw you unless you stand up to them. They woke me up, so I studied every aspect of company law I could," he says. Cilliers used section 163 of the Companies Act to make his argument and in a startling coup for shareholders’ rights, the court agreed with him. The next year, he battled La Conc...

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