Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Some punters paid the price for optimism at troubled building supplies conglomerate Distribution and Warehousing Network (Dawn) when they caught sight of a cautionary in mid-November. The cautionary, which sparked rumours of a pending buyout or takeover, bumped the share from 5c to 9c. Then came the harsh reality. Former CEO Derek Tod is involved in a buyout bid pitched at a princely 1c a share. The 1c-a-share pitch is hard to credit, especially pegged against the "hard" NAV of more than 50c a share at the end of March. At first glance the 1c offer was dismissed as an insultingly cheeky bid. But further reading of the bid announcement showed 60% of Dawn’s shareholders had already given irrevocable undertakings to support the low bid. The bid values Dawn at R6m — astounding when one remembers that the group held a market capitalisation of over R3bn as recently as 2015. Adding further colour to this desperate backdrop is the fact that Dawn has given Polanofield, a company controlled b...

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