Former EOH chief executive Asher Bohbot will be returning to the company he founded.   Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA
Former EOH chief executive Asher Bohbot will be returning to the company he founded. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA
Former EOH chief executive Asher Bohbot will be returning to the company he founded.   Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA
Former EOH chief executive Asher Bohbot will be returning to the company he founded. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA
JOHANNESBURG - JSE-listed EOH Holdings firmed 12.81% yesterday after the company announced that its former chief executive and founder, Asher Bohbot, would return to the group on a full-time basis.

The share price rose to close at R55.29, bettering Tuesday’s closing price of R49.01.

EOH chief executive Zunaid Mayet said the reappointment was effective immediately and Bohbot would focus on strategy and stakeholder management.

“The intention was always that Asher (Bohbot) would return at the end of his six-month sabbatical, having stepped down as chief executive in May this year.

"Asher brings extensive experience and depth of knowledge to the business, which will be extremely valuable, so I am most grateful he has agreed to join us for a period on a full-time basis,” Mayet said.

Former EOH chief executive Asher Bohbot will be returning to the company he founded. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA

On Monday, EOH shares slumped 35percent following the combined sale of R156million worth of stock by two directors in what was described as a forced transaction. The company said it had established that the share price succumbed to the forced sale by financial institutions against equity-financed transactions to various shareholders, including the directors.

Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers, said Bohbot’s return was a welcome relief for the embattled company as his sudden resignation earlier this year was unexpected.

Takaendesa added EOH problems had come at the wrong time, given the tough economy, sell-off of domestic stocks and the corporate governance breach allegations, which had hit the share price.

“It was a very difficult time for the market to deal with a new chief executive given a number of challenges facing the company,” Takaendesa said.

The company has faced a number of challenges in the past six months with some of ifs subsidiaries linked to corrupt government contracts.

Last month, details emerged in Parliament of graft involving the SAPS and the State Information Technology Agency in awarding R6.1billion in contracts to Keith Keating, a director of three businesses owned by the group’s companies between 2010 and this year.

Takaendesa added: “There was also speculation in the market that Asher’s sudden departure in May was linked to the April amaBhungane articles.

"We therefore believe that his return in an executive capacity is a positive development.

“We expect Asher to move into a non-executive role mid-term as some of the temporary factors (mentioned) get resolved and market conditions improve in South Africa,” he said.

- BUSINESS REPORT