Imperial Holdings chief executive Osman Arbee has gone on medical leave until January. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Imperial Holdings chief executive Osman Arbee, who will become chief executive of Imperial’s motor business Motus once the proposed unbundling of the listed transport and logistics group has been completed, has gone on medical leave until January.

The group said yesterday that Arbee suffered a minor stroke after undergoing surgery at the end of June.

Arbee was appointed group chief executive of Imperial Holdings effective from May 1 this year, in addition to his position as chief executive of the Motus division, following the resignation of then group chief executive Mark Lamberti from the end of April.

Lamberti resigned after he was found guilty in a high court judgment of impairing the dignity of a former employee of Imperial. He also resigned as a board member of power utility Eskom and from the board of Business Leadership South Africa.

Imperial said Arbee’s surgery was successful and he was discharged from hospital a few weeks ago and was expected to fully recover.

It said Arbee would be available to management to advise on strategic matters during the recovery period.

However, Imperial said the minor stroke had resulted in Arbee’s recovery period being longer than previously anticipated.

Imperial said Arbee was expected to be back at work in January and would continue in his role as chief executive of Motus.

Imperial’s board last month decided to proceed with the steps required to implement the unbundling of the group and separately list its logistics and vehicle businesses.

The proposed transaction was still subject to a number of conditions precedent, including approval by shareholders and certain regulatory authorities, but was expected to be implemented during the fourth quarter of this year.

A general meeting for shareholder approval of the proposed transaction was scheduled to take place on October 30.

Imperial yesterday reiterated that the proposed unbundling of Motus remained on track and would continue as previously announced.

It added that the management structures of both Imperial Holdings and Motus, and the current Motus finance structure, were sufficient to provide appropriate support during Arbee’s absence.

Imperial said Mohammed Akoojee would be appointed acting chief executive of Imperial Holdings, in addition to his role as the chief financial officer, until the conclusion of the unbundling.

On conclusion of the unbundling, Akoojee would be appointed chief executive designate of Imperial Logistics and succeed current chief executive Marius Swanepoel effective from July next year.

Imperial expects to release its annual financial results on August 21.

Imperial closed 1.02percent lower at R213.57 on the JSE yesterday.