When Covid first infected the JSE in April last year, there were some dismal rumours about debt-laden investment company Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI).

I recall an executive from another investment company ringing me up to ask if I’d heard stories that HCI would be selling off large chunks of its empire to placate its bankers. With sizable debt, and a heavily discounted share price making a shares-for-cash issue difficult, I suppose such rumblings were inevitable. But one thing I’ve learnt, while following HCI since its (re)formation in the late 1990s, is to never underestimate the group’s ability to manoeuvre out of tight corners...

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