Phumelela ex-CEO warns against Oppenheimer offer; CR cabinet showdown; Gold Fields

By Claire Badenhorst

  • BizNews spoke to Rian du Plessis, the former CEO of Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, who says that creditors would be wrong to accept an apparent lifesaving offer from wealthy horsebreeder and owner Mary Oppenheimer. Du Plessis is still a major shareholder in South Africa’s biggest horse racing business and he is devastated at the destruction of a company he left in good shape, generating R155m a year in profit. “My family and I are the fourth biggest shareholders of Phumelela so it’s painful to us what has happened there,” he says. This week, UK bookmaker Betfred made a generous offer for all of Phumelela’s assets and Du Plessis believes it would be the better choice of the two. Mary Oppenheimer’s bid, which is supported, would give creditors just over 70c in the rand, but shareholders very little. Du Plessis also says that while the Oppenheimer offer is vague and actually undervalues the company, the Betfred offer is fully disclosed. Phumelela’s creditors will vote on Tuesday. To hear the stinging interview and to find out more about the race to rescue Phumelela, visit BizNews.com.
  • In an apparent showdown between President and his rivals, the ANC NEC met this weekend to decide what to do about members facing charges of corruption. A few days ago, President wrote a seven-page letter which left a bitter taste in many ANC members’ mouths. In it, Ramaphosa said that while the ANC is not the only organisation guilty of corruption in South Africa, it is certainly the main suspect. On Friday afternoon, on the eve of the important meeting, Jacob Zuma penned his own letter to Ramaphosa in which he accuses the president of pointing fingers at the ANC in order to protect himself. Feeling the pressure of a nation growing agitated with every day that passes, it seems Ramaphosa was hoping to reassure South African voters and boost investor confidence in his administration. According to Bloomberg, he is even considering changes to his cabinet after he meets the ruling party’s leadership this weekend. For more details on the possible cabinet reshuffle, go to BizNews.com.
  • Warren Buffett is one of the world’s most closely watched investors. Recently the Berkshire Hathaway CEO surprised his followers by buying a stake in gold mining company, Barrick Gold, despite shunning the metal for years. Now, Bloomberg reports that Gold Fields is attracting a broader group of investors who previously considered gold miners too leveraged and high-risk. This could have something to do with the addition of gold mining stock to Buffett’s portfolio. To read more about Buffett’s move to gold, log into BizNews Premium.
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