BUSINESS NEWS - In what must be one of the most spectacular corporate captures in South African history, Connie Myburgh and Dominique Haese, respectively the chairman and CEO of the Nova Property Group, have taken full control of the rescue vehicle of the erstwhile R4.5 billion Sharemax investment scheme.
Moneyweb can confirm the two directors, who are romantically linked according to several sources, acquired 100% of the voting rights of the company after stripping the other voting shareholders of their voting rights.
Subsequent to obtaining full voting control, Myburgh approved maximum increases of 10% for the directors for the next three years at a recent AGM, something shareholder activist Theo Botha “has never seen before”.
He added that Nova is an ideal case for a class-action suit.
100% of the vote
The Nova shareholding structure is complicated, with only the seven founding shareholders, who received their shares for free, holding any voting rights.
According to this structure, each of the four directors held around 23% of the vote. The balance was held by three other individuals.
The 2 000 Sharemax investors who elected to receive Nova shares in lieu of debentures, have no voting rights.
In what may seem to be a case study in corporate capture, Myburgh and Haese annulled the voting rights of the other shareholders.
This was triggered by an attempt led by Dirk Koekemoer (property director) and Rudi Badenhorst (financial director) to remove Myburgh and Haese from the board.
Myburgh and Haese foiled this attempt and instead engineered the resignations of Badenhorst and Koekemoer as directors.
Badenhorst and Koekemoer signed a shareholders’ agreement that reduced their shareholding in the company and stripped their remaining shares of all voting rights. It is not certain why they signed this agreement.
Moneyweb has also learnt that the voting rights of the remaining minority shareholders were also rescinded.
This sequence of events left Myburgh and Haese with 100% of the voting rights in the company. According to Moneyweb calculations, their collective shareholding in Nova increased from around 46% to 60% in Nova.
Moneyweb sent questions to all the shareholders but did not receive a response.