Sagarmatha deputy chairwoman Rosemary Mosia (right) tells Business Report exclusively that Sagarmatha rejects “with contempt” Magda Wierzycka’s (left) comments.

CAPE TOWN - Sagarmatha deputy chairwoman Rosemary Mosia on Tuesday responded to Sygnia Asset Management CEO Magda Wierzycka’s comments at the AGM of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. 

Mosia told Business Report exclusively that Sagarmatha rejects “with contempt” the insinuation by Wierzycka that Sagarmatha should not have been considered by the JSE to list.

Last week, at the JSE annual meeting, the Sygnia CEO claimed Sagarmatha's valuation was too high and its profitability too low to be listed on the JSE.

Mosia said she doubted whether Wierzycka even read the prospectus by the tech giant.

“If we follow Wierzycka’s logic, then companies such as Amazon, Uber Snapchat, Tencent and Facebook and Fitbit should have no value and should not be listed anywhere," Mosia said.

According to Sagarmatha’s deputy chairperson, the tech company went through an extremely intense and rigorous valuation process, “more so than any other company”.

“We went well above all the requirements to be able to list on JSE.

“Wierzycka has conveniently and selectively ignored that internationally renowned Redwood Valuations Partners in the US valued Sagarmatha Technologies.”

Sagarmatha's valuation was not only validated and substantiated by Redwood but also by the University of the District of Columbia's Faculty of Finance, said Mosia.

“It is laughable that someone like Wierzycka, who runs Sygnia, which can at best be described as a fourth-grade asset management company, is questioning some of the top valuation entities in the world.”

Mosia went on to say that: “For someone who leads an asset management company, she has never bothered to engage with the CEOs of Sagarmatha, the management team or any of the Board of Directors, to understand the valuation of the business."

Mosia added that had Wierzycka read the Sagarmatha pre-listing statement "she would have seen that the Redwood valuation is included and that the listing was priced within that range”.

‘DARLING OF THE DESTRUCTIVE MEDIA’

Sagarmatha believes that Wierzycka’s statements are defamatory and undermines a highly respected audit committee and board, who spent many months engaging in the valuation with highly regarded valuation entities.

It should be noted that by the JSE's own admission Sagarmatha had to meet requirements over and above their normal listing requirements.

According to the JSE listing requirement, companies without a profit history only have to raise R500m in equity. In Sagarmatha's case, this was R3bn.

“What Wierzycka ignores completely is that Sagarmatha was able to raise more than R4.2bn (without the PIC) until, at the last minute, the JSE withdrew the listing on so-called administrative grounds," Mosia said.

“The above investors, along with members of our International Advisory Board, are some of the wealthiest and most successful business leaders in the world today.

“It is laughable that a minnow and publicity-seeking asset manager like Wierzycka thinks she can cast aspersions on successful international business leaders and investors.”

Her irrational and unwarranted comments, according to Mosia, have made Wierzycka the “darling of the destructive oppositional media groups”.

“Tiso Blackstar, and peripheral websites like the Daily Maverick, and the Naspers group hold her in high esteem only because she attacks the shareholders of the Independent Media Group."

TWITTER UPROAR

Mosia goes on to state that South Africans should remember that this is the same Magda Wierzycka who took to social media on two recent occasions and insulted black people, the majority of South Africans.

Her insulting tweet that “if every household employs a cleaner or gardener, it would save SA”, was met with contempt and derision by Twitter followers.

It was after this incident and the subsequent backlash that Wierzycka decided to leave the social media platform.

Mosia argues that the Twitter incident gives a clear insight into Wierzycka’s thoughts.

“In Magda Wierzycka's mind a black woman like myself, who has a number of qualifications, should not be a deputy chairperson of a listed company, or even in business, but should confine me to being a tea girl. 

"Black people should only be domestic workers or mine workers. Black people should not have successful JSE-listed companies. In her mind, black people should not own successful JSE-listed companies, and should not be in boardrooms for anything else other than for cosmetic purposes to serve her BEE requirements. 

"She should well remember that the start to her success was via controversial businessman Mzi Khumalo, and how she undermined him in the way she took over his business. This pattern continues today.”

Sagarmatha believes that Tiso Blackstar publications like Business Day are using Wierzycka’s slanderous comments to further their own agenda.

Mosia noted that it is interesting that Wierzycka is pointing fingers at shareholders of listed companies losing money when share prices decline when her own company’s share price has lost about 40 percent of its value in recent times.

She, therefore, owes her investors an explanation and should focus on her own business, instead of seeking publicity on the back of black business, Mosia added.

WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING

Mosia also added that South Africans must not forget that she recently failed to list a Cryptocurrency company on the JSE. This makes her motivation even more transparent.

“She was, in effect, using Sagarmatha as a scapegoat to try and bully the JSE to list her cryptocurrency company. One wonders if the JSE will put her company through the same rigorous scrutiny that they put Sagarmatha."

Mosia is adamant that Wierzycka must understand she is not dealing with a “black company that is intimidated by her covert racism”.

Wierzycka essentially serves as “a propaganda arm for the detractors, our competitors of Independent Media and others”, Mosia said.

“This does not give her the right to belittle Sagarmatha and or any other company."

Sagarmatha additionally has said that the company will seek a full transcript from the JSE of what transpired at the AGM and will not hesitate to act against Wierzycka for her defamatory comments about the tech company.

Also read: FULL STATEMENT: Sagarmatha responds to Magda Wierzycka

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE