Pickvest investors to discuss rescue prospects

Pickvest investors to discuss rescue prospects

How much of R4.5bn can be salvaged? A meeting on Wednesday will shed light.
JOHANNESBURG - Pickvest investors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the prospects of “rescuing” the companies they are invested in. The meeting will be held in Centurion at 15:00. In attendance will be Hans Klopper, who was recently appointed business rescue practitioner to seven of the eight Pickvest syndication companies.

On the agenda for discussion is the business rescue process and its prospects of success.

Many of Pickvest’s estimated 25 000 investors, who have invested as much as R4.5bn in its schemes, were unaware of Klopper’s appointment until a week after it happened, when it was reported on Moneyweb last Thursday.

Wednesday’s meeting has been hastily convened, but Klopper says there is nothing sinister in this. Klopper says the Companies Act dictates that a business rescue practitioner must convene, and preside over, a first meeting of creditors within ten business days of being appointed.

The only syndication excluded from the meeting will be Highveld 19. It was recently reported that a liquidation application had been lodged against Highveld 19, which prevented it from being placed under business rescue. However, Klopper told Moneyweb that this matter has since been settled, and he expects to be appointed to Highveld 19, too.

Ben van der Linde, a director of all eight Pickvest syndications, says that because of limited time, notices were only sent by e-mail to all known addresses.

The meeting will be held at Full Gospel Church Camping Grounds, 3C, 8 Jan Smuts Avenue, Irene Centurion. Financial advisers are welcome, but they must have at least one proxy from a shareholder.

Klopper says he was initially approached by Des Hudson, a director of the Highveld syndication companies, with a view to being appointed as business rescue practitioner. Klopper was later approached by Ferdinand Hartzenberg, a legal representative for the syndication companies. Hartzenberg is the son of Judge Willie Hartzenberg, who was appointed last year as chairman of the various Sharemax syndication companies.

Klopper’s fees will be paid by the income earned from the syndication companies, in accordance with the companies Act. The fees are prescribed by legislation and are currently capped at R2 000 an hour. Klopper says that a performance-related fee may be presented to investors and affected persons for their approval.

Klopper has 25 business days (unless an extension is granted) to present a business rescue plan to investors and other creditors for their consideration and possible adoption.

This plan should give investors a better idea what their companies are worth. For example, it’s been reported that there are substantial amounts owing to Nic Georgiou, who is intricately involved in the Pickvest schemes.

The business rescue plan must include a complete list of all assets and debt of the company. The practitioner must produce a projected balance sheet and income statement for the next three years, prepared on the assumption that his plan is adopted.

Klopper says he is busy familiarising himself with the Highveld syndication companies. He says he has had only one meeting with Georgiou, which took place on Wednesday last week.


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!