CAPE TOWN – Erstwhile chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Dr Dan Matjila, on Monday described the asset manager’s investment into AYO Technology Solutions as a long-term investment that would change the landscape in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
Matjila was testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into alleged impropriety at the PIC, which resumed after the hearing was suspended due to, among other matters, protests in Pretoria where the commission is based.
Matjila emphasised to the commission, led by retired Judge Lex Mpati, that Africa’s largest asset manager’s R4.3bn investment in AYO was not lost and was earning interest. He said the impression that had been created in that the PIC had lost money in this investment was off the mark.
He said that even the decline in the listed company’s share price was not a reflection of its value. “That is why I am saying that money is there, it’s a matter of how you apply it going forward, it’s not lost. The share price that you see of R8 a share does not reflect the value that sits within the company. It reflects the noise, the hype and all the negative reports around AYO, as opposed to the intrinsic value that sits within the company,” said Matjila.
The former CEO told the commission that the PIC’s 29 percent stake in AYO was very handy because it gave the asset manager a fair amount of control in the running of the tech firm, allowing it to put in place new governance processes, in order to be able to protect its investment and spend the money efficiently.