Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

The interpretation by the market — and I say "market" guardedly — of Trustco’s recapitalisation exercise is nothing short of bizarre. To recap: the founder, majority investor and CEO, Quinton van Rooyen, sold a portion of his shareholding to raise capital to provide a loan to fund Trustco’s operations, most notably its fledgling diamond mining interests (some of which were acquired, in exchange for scrip, from Van Rooyen for R3.6bn). I’m not sure how the market would react if Adrian Gore or Brian Joffe sold huge parcels of Discovery or Long4Life shares into the market to extend a loan — with a repayment or convertible option — to fund the company’s businesses. There might be some fretting around why the founder was selling shares and, more pertinently, looking like the lender of last resort. In any event, the initial aim was for Van Rooyen to sell shares up to the value of R1bn. The initial efforts, as reported by the FM recently, raised barely R10m. But last week Van Rooyen, via Le...

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