Why is Sagarmatha so desperate to list with the JSE?

It was being billed as one of the most anticipated listings on the JSE, but Sagarmartha Technologies hopes of listing were dashed by the JSE for non-compliance on Tuesday.

Sagarmartha is made up of number of subsidiaries, including Independent Media and apparently failed to survive the scrutiny of the JSE, which then rescinded its approval.

Investigative journalist, Sam Sole says the problems began in 2013 when the group owning Independent Media in Ireland went bankrupt and wanted to sell the company.

It was sold for R2 billion to a consortium led by Iqbal Survé, says Sole.

Read: amaBhungane 'exposes' outrageous attempt to save Iqbal Survé’s Independent Media

I think that's where the problem started. They overpaid a political premium because, in my view, they wanted to get control of what was then the largest English newspaper in the country.

Sam Sole, Senior Investigative Journalist at amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

After initially approving the listing of Sagarmatha Technologies, the JSE has now rescinded its approval because Sagarmatha had not submitted its annual financial statements to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) at the time the pre-listing statement was approved.

The company was suppose to be listed on Friday 13 April.

Sole says in August 2018 Sagarmatha is expected to pay back about 50% of the loans they received from contributing comapnies to help them buy Independent Media.

According to my calculations, the Survé vehicle which owns 55% of Independent Media will have to fund over R800 million to meet the repayment date lines. And looking at their operations there is no way they will have that kind of cash.

Sam Sole, Senior Investigative Journalist at amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

However, Sole says his calculations are not based on any investigative conclusions but it's merely what's being put out there in the public space.

I looked at this and I drew what I thought was reasonable conclusions from the company's own figure that it put out there.

Sam Sole, Senior Investigative Journalist at amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Click here to read what Sam Sole has put together explaining the operations of Sagarmatha.

To hear more of the history and background of Sagarmatha by Sam Sole, listen below:


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