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4Sight suspended from JSE

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The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has suspended technology group 4Sight Holdings with immediate effect.

In a statement, the local bourse says the embattled company failed to follow the rules of the JSE.

“The JSE wishes to advise that the above mentioned company has failed to comply with the JSE’s listings requirements by not submitting its interim financial statements within the three-month period stipulated in the listings requirements. Accordingly, the listing of this company’s securities has been suspended with immediate effect,” says the statement.

The JSE says the announcement has been placed in the interest of shareholders.

4Sight has been experiencing massive boardroom squabbles in recent weeks.

The boardroom drama took a twist for the worse earlier this month when chairman of the audit and risk committee, Geoffrey Carter, resigned after “false accusations” were circulated in e-mails by executives, making the situation untenable.

He was followed by board chairman, Dr Rama Sithanen, less than 24 hours later. Sithanen was initially scheduled to leave by the end of the year.

These events in October were preceded by a demand of a board shake-up by a major shareholder in August.

The crucial board meeting was then postponed and on Wednesday this week after 4Sight announced the departure of additional directors.

The CEO Vincent Raseroka and three other directors quit the company.

With the resignations, it meant 4Sight had lost six directors including the chairman in a space of four weeks.

In a note to shareholders, 4Sight said Raseroka, Gary Lauryssen, Jason du Plessis and Tinus Neethling had quit the board.

To bolster its board, the company said Tertius Zitzke (who will act as CEO), Eric van der Merwe (acting CFO), Marichen Mortimer, Johan Nel, Christopher Crowe, Andrew Murgatroyd and Herman Singh had joined the board.

“Following the adjourned SGM [special general meeting], and following an engagement process with various shareholders including those shareholders that requisitioned the SGM, the board of directors of 4Sight has been consensually restructured,” the company said.

Further, it said in compliance with the company’s constitution, two additional directors who are ordinarily resident in Mauritius are still to be appointed.

4Sight added that the reconstituted board will prioritise these further board appointments and a further announcement will be made on these additional board appointments being effected.

Raseroka, who was in the position since January this year, had big plans for the company, including what he called "real empowerment". He wanted the South African business to be at least 51% black-owned.

Since listing in 2017, 4Sight had been showing signs of growth and had made a lot of acquisitions, which it said were to boost its capabilities in various industries.

In October 2017, it purchased AGE Technologies for R80 million and also announced the acquisition of BluESP Holdings for R54.8 million. In January 2018, it finalised the acquisition of Foursight South Africa and its subsidiaries for R85.6 million.

In April 2018, it announced plans to acquire a 70% stake in Simulation Engineering Technologies for R53.5 million, and agreed to a joint venture with Shenzhen Rongmei Science and Technology to boost its business in Asia. The same month, it acquired professional services firm AccTech Systems and its subsidiary, Dynamics Africa Services, for R120 million and R30 million, respectively.

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