4Sight Holdings hoping to be back soon
Zitzke, in an interview, explained what had led to a stormy special general meeting (SGM) being called by the shareholders in October that led to an entirely new board being appointed. The company was trading healthily at present, he said.
Some 95percent of the information technology company's shares are owned by the management of the 32 business units in the group. When the company was suspended from the JSE for failing to report interim results, so was the trade in these shares.
Zitzke, also an owner of one of the subsidiaries, said they had all previously bought into the vision of previous chief executive Antonie van Rensburg, of unlocking synergies within the companies to take advantage of opportunities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
But the management appointed after Van Rensburg had started to operate 4Sight Holdings merely as an investment company.
“We need industry experts to lead this business. We are not just an investment company waiting for dividends to be generated,” which was why the shareholders had the executive management and board changed, he said.
He said the interim results had been completed and were being reviewed by 4Sight’s auditors. The target date for publishing the results was November 30, after being approved by the company’s new board, he said.
Zitzke was interviewed following the conclusion of a reconvened SGM on Wednesday.
Directors were also currently in discussion with the business rescue practitioners regarding the removal of one of the South African subsidiaries, Foursight Holdings (Foursight), from business rescue, something that had been instituted by the previous management and which “never should have happened,” he said.
Foursight was placed into business rescue on October 10, a day before a special general meeting was convened. In an announcement on October 15, 4Sight said that while Foursight was profitable and generated large cash reserves, it had experienced a temporary liquidity problem.
“The new board is confident it will be able to resolve this issue and remove Foursight from business rescue as soon as possible,” said Zitzke.
He said a new “fit-for-purpose” board had been appointed at the SGM.
Zitzke was the new acting chief executive, while Eric van der Merwe is acting financial director. Five independent non-executive directors: Marichen Mortimer, Johan Nel, Christopher Crowe, Andrew Murgatroyd and Herman Singh were appointed. The two acting executive positions would be confirmed once the new board had held its first meeting.
“The new board includes five independent non-executives with impeccable credentials and the right mix of skills and experience needed to help 4Sight overcome its current challenges and realise its immense potential,” said Zitzke.
He said the new exco had already begun the process of developing a comprehensive strategy for 4Sight, including a new corporate logo, which would be presented to the new board as soon as possible.
Two Mauritian residents would still be appointed to the board as the company was registered in that jurisdiction. In the meantime, the new independent board would meet on Friday to begin tackling the various issues facing 4Sight.
“4Sight is reverting to the originally stated objectives in the prospectus of being a leading 4IR technology company, and capitalising on the synergies resulting from the various companies in the group.
“4Sight has made huge strides in building a significant, cash-generating business in products and solutions relevant to 4IR. The group operates in more than 20 countries and has long-standing blue chip clients in its three clusters. We have a unique skills base of engineers, data scientists and IT specialists, able not only to create solutions but implement them - a rare capability in the South African market,” Zitzke said.