AYO launches damages claim of billions against PIC
AYO Technologies has served summons on one of its largest shareholders, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), for an amount expected to run to billions of rands.
An article published on Independent Media's Business Report website last night confirmed the information and technology holding company, which is indirectly controlled by Iqbal Survé, is suing the PIC ‘and other entities’.
Business Day says it has been able to independently verify that AYO has served summons on the PIC in the Western Cape High Court but was not able to establish the quantum of the damages being sought.
The PIC invested R4.3bn in AYO in December 2017, a deal that subsequently garnered controversy as details of the irregular process the asset manager followed came to light in media reports and at the commission of inquiry being chaired by retired Judge Lex Mpati.
AYO had had enough of the allegations made against it in the public domain, much of which was hearsay, all of it baseless and without fact, the company’s chairperson, Advocate Wallace Mgoqi, is quoted as saying by Business Report.
He added that AYO had presented a sound investment case to the PIC and other investors, that the company acted with integrity and had done nothing wrong. The comments made by PIC chairperson, Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Ngunbele, and various other officials of the PIC in the public space, in particular with media houses, had damaged the reputation of AYO.
In so doing, the PIC prejudiced the business of AYO.
‘The conduct of the PIC and former executives of AYO who testified at the PIC Commission of Inquiry, has resulted in AYO struggling to conclude transactions and do its business in an unhindered manner. This in turn, has significantly prejudiced AYO, its employees, customers, shareholders, advisers and business relationships,’ he said.
Mgoqi emphasised the fact that AYO had presented a sound investment case to the PIC and stood by this.
‘There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that AYO has done anything wrong. On the contrary, the PIC chairperson and officials had in numerous public forums made remarks about AYO based on their own internal processes that have nothing to do with AYO. The conduct of the PIC and the conduct of its officials has resulted in damages to AYO and its businesses to the extent of billions of rands,’ he said.
As a result AYOs board has resolved to instruct its attorneys to institute a damages claim against the PIC and its former executives.
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