• Sagarmatha, which failed to list on the JSE recently, said the Public Investment Corporation had succumbed to bullying.
  • It also suggested the JSE had been bullied by other media companies, as part of a concerted campaign.
  • The PIC and JSE both disagree.


Nobody bullied them into, respectively, not investing in and not allowing the listing of the unusual technology company Sagarmatha, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and JSE tell Business Insider.

"The PIC did not, does not and will not buckle under any pressure of any form or shape," says Deon Botha, head of corporate affairs at the PIC.

“No the JSE was not bullied into dropping the Sagarmatha listing," says  Andre Visser, general manager of issuer regulation at the JSE.

After its failed listing, Sagarmatha's stable of newspapers launched a spectacular attack on other media companies, accusing them of using Stratcom" and "Gestapo" tactics against it.

"Ahead of the listing Independent Media said the PIC was unduly pressured by journalists from Tiso Blackstar, Daily Maverick, and Amabhungane. The PIC eventually caved in to pressure and declined to invest in Sagarmatha Technologies," various Independent newspapers wrote in simultaneous front page articles.

But the PIC simply declined to invest, said Botha.

In an accompanying opinion piece in Independent's Business Report insert, editor Adri Senekal de Wet wrote that the first objective of a "concerted and desperate campaign" and been to stop Sagarmatha's listing. "...unethical and undue pressure was placed on the JSE in this regard," she said.

In fact, "the JSE took its decision based on facts before us at the time," says Visser.

In a subsequent article that appears to be an opinion piece (attributed to the company Sekunjalo Investment Holdings as the author) Independent warned that "the PIC and others, such as regulators, should not to be intimidated to achieve anti-transformational and anti-competitive collusive agendas."

"The company failed to comply with this specific condition of listing and therefore the listing could not proceed," says Visser.

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