PPC row flares as Foord bats for Ketso
In an unprecedented move that could resolve the standoff at PPC, Foord Asset Management (FAM), which holds 7.6% of PPC shares,will ask the board
of the 120-year-old cement producer to convene a special shareholders meeting to elect a new board.
Foord criticised PPC’s board for the ham-fisted way it had dealt with the surprise resignation of CEO Ketso Gordhan three weeks ago.
“We could have decided that there is too much going on, and sold our shares and walked away,” said Daryll Owen, deputy chief investment officer at Foord, describing the course of action traditionally taken by investment managers facing a complicated and potentially value-destroying situation.
“But we believed that the previous leadership was good for the company and good for South Africa. We bought into the whole Africa story,” said Owen.
Since Gordhan’s departure on September 22, PPC’s stock dropped 14% to Friday’s R27.75.
Foord now has the backing of more than 10% of PPC’s shareholders, which means PPC will be obliged to convene the special shareholders meeting under the Companies Act.
When contacted, PPC would not comment on Foord’s move.
By Ann Crotty