JOHANNESBURG – Sasol shares soared 15 percent after joint chief executives Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell quit yesterday amid the release of the board’s review of the ballooning costs and delays at the US-based Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP).
Sasol’s share price hit a high of R307.69 at 1.18pm yesterday – its highest level in more than a month – after the company said that Nqwababa and Cornell had agreed to an amicable mutual separation with the company and would step down effective on Thursday. The shares closed at R298.74 on the JSE yesterday.
The petrochemicals giant named Fleetwood Grobler, the executive vice-president for chemicals, as the incoming president and chief executive from next month. “To be clear, the board has neither identified misconduct nor incompetence on the part of the joint chief executives,” the company said.
Asked whether the joint chief executives would receive a golden handshake, Vuyo Kahla, Sasol’s vice-president advisory and assurance, said the board was expected to determine an appropriate separation package for the joint chief executives.
“Because there were no integrity or misconduct issues found on the part of the joint chief executives, the board would in the ordinary course of business determine an appropriate arrangement,” said Kahla.