So was it the support of the pope or the
The notion that the PIC backed
Given the pope's concerns about the state of 21st century capitalism, it is likely he did not see the
The reality is that the failure of the
Back in March last year, after
In July, the white knight emerged in the form of Chilean-based CFR. CFR told an exciting story about synergies with the South American company and the potential for growth across
Anyone who had the opportunity to meet with the CFR management could not fail to be encouraged about the prospects for a more exciting global outlook for Adcock.
But as the weeks drifted into months and there was still no sign of a firm offer from CFR, it became apparent that the family-owned Chilean company did not have the wherewithal to conclude a deal. The problems created by its lack of funds were compounded by the fact that little was known about CFR outside its area of operation, which was primarily
Both of these issues created significant challenges for the PIC, which - with around 19 percent - was the largest single shareholder in Adcock. As the manager of the
Resistance from the PIC was critical given that CFR's proposal needed the support of 75 percent of the shareholders. Over the next few months CFR faced the daunting challenge of organising funding for the transaction, and persuading the PIC that CFR presented the best prospects for realising the potential that lay within Adcock's attractive and under-managed assets.
At no stage did the PIC formally endorse the CFR offer. In the few public statements it made, the PIC stressed that it wanted to see value extraction through better management rather than through a change of ownership. A change of ownership, the PIC believed, would see an inordinate amount of the benefits of better management accrue to the new controlling shareholders.
Because the new controlling shareholders were non-South African, this was interpreted as the PIC being hostile to foreign investors. This suspicion lingers despite the PIC stating unequivocally that it supports foreign direct investment (FDI), "as long as such FDI has predictable long-term benefits" for the economy. Recent examples include
And now, as the CFR offer disappears into the distance, the Adcock share price drifts back towards the levels at which it was trading ahead of the
In the past 12 months
While Joffe has still to reveal what plans he has, shareholders will probably be hoping for a miracle.
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