What’s the fuss about Ayo Technologies?
Its valuation for one. Its founder investor for another. But it’s a company with something to prove.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and African Equity and Empowerment Investment Group (AEEI), Sekunjalo’s listed vehicle, value Ayo Technology Solutions at a healthy R14.8 billion.
The market values it at R11.3bn, which, while substantially lower, still reflects a P/E of 95x.
The share has lost a quarter of its value since its December 21 listing and the PIC is more than R1 billion out of pocket. This has raised questions in the market about the PIC’s investment criteria, which from the outside appear to be highly selective.
The listing followed a private placement in which the PIC was the only participant, pumping R4.3 billion into Ayo, the tech company of AEEI and, ultimately, Sekunjalo and its leader Iqbal Survé, with AEEI bringing its holding down from 80% to 49%.
Noise around the Ayo share is in part due to the association with Survé, who incidentally tried unsuccessfully to list Sagamartha Technologies in April.
Survé and Sekunjalo, according to Ayo, “hold only an historical nominal direct interest in Ayo equivalent to 0.015% and 0.00038% of the issued share capital of Ayo respectively.”
Whether it’s the Survé association or not, the market is clearly finding the PIC and AEEI valuation hard to swallow despite the fact that, since listing, Ayo has come out with buoyant financial results and a material deal to manage Sasol’s global IT requirements.
Noise around the share is rooted in the private placement, which brought a company valued at R14.8 billion to the JSE with R478.7 million revenue, R29.6 million bottom line income and R292.4 million in total assets prior to the listing.
The share sits at R33, but since listing, it has roller-coastered between R45 and R24.