Supreme court validates Pepkor’s right to sell Tekkie Town

2020-10-27 02:53:00 AM

Earlier preservation order for footwear retailer while other cases wind their way through the courts is overturned

Warren ThompsonTekkie Town. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/SUNDAY TIMESPepkor Holdings, the JSE-listed subsidiary of Steinhoff International, has won its appeal in the supreme court validating its right to dispose of discount footwear chain Tekkie Town, which it acquired from Steinhoff in 2017.

Modise in court to face animal cruelty charges COVID-19: SAMA says ECape needs urgent intervention Petrol price set to drop at midnight

The judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal last Wednesday overturns an earlier decision made in the Western Cape High Court in April 2019, which prevented Steinhoff from selling shares in Pepkor in any way that would result in a loss of control of the company.

Pepkor was also prevented from selling Tekkie Town or encumbering it as part of a broader instruction to “preserve” the business while it remains the subject of a dispute. This also meant Tekkie Town was precluded from issuing shares.  The motion was brought by Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen and other shareholders who sold their business to Steinhoff in 2016 in exchange for shares in the multinational furniture retailer and manufacturer.

As part of their main case still making its way through the courts, Van Huyssteen and company claim that Steinhoff fraudulently misrepresented the value of its shares when the sale agreement was concluded in 2016 with former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste.

As reparations for “having their business stolen from them”, Tekkie Town’s former shareholders either want their business returned to them or Steinhoff must compensate them in cash for the value of their stake in the apparel and footwear retailer at the time of the sale — which they say amounts to R1.854bn.

The motion to “preserve” the business was launched with the former remedy in mind.But the supreme court judges said there was no basis in law to grant such an order on the grounds advanced by Van Huyssteen and the other shareholders, and they overturned the original decision with costs.

One of the court’s main points in its decision is that Pepkor was not party to the original transaction.The second issue is that Van Huyssteen and the other shareholders had sold 56.94% of the shares in Tekkie Town to Steinhoff and did not own the business outright at the time of the sale. A private equity fund owned the balance. But the preservation order prevented Pepkor from selling any shares in Tekkie Town, a mismatch not equitable in law.

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' all female comms team expected to amplify women's voices in media | W24 Two OR Tambo Airport cops sentenced to 30 years in prison for stealing seized drugs | News24

The original application and appeal decision may be academic since Pepkor has maintained from the beginning that it had no intention to dispose of the business and reiterated this yesterday.“Tekkie Town forms an integral part of the Pepkor group and Pepkor continues to make significant investment in Tekkie Town and its employees but welcomes the legal basis and principle that no restrictions should apply,” the group said in a statement on Monday.  

Bernard Mostert, the former CEO of Tekkie Town speaking on behalf of the former Tekkie Town shareholders, said they would continue to pursue their claims against Steinhoff for the fraudulent misrepresentation. Read more: Business Day »

WATCH: EFF member goes viral for addressing systemic oppression, racism

Jack Markovitz, the grandson of a former DA MEC, said the situation in Brackenfell was the same as every white neighbourhood in South Africa: racism was instilled in people.

Eastern Cape mom 'sold her baby' after telling father the child had diedAn Eastern Cape woman who gave birth to a child and allegedly sold it appeared in the Cala magistrate's court on Monday

Kinnear murder accused Kilian now a suspect in attempted hit on William BoothInvestigators believe the man implicated in the assassination of a Cape Town detective is also linked to an attempted hit on a prominent lawyer. He tracked phones for a living. What his clients did with the info was their business. He is the fall guy. Who ordered the hit. That is what we want to know?

Airline ANA Holdings to slash jobs and sell aeroplanesJapanese company expects full-year loss of about ¥530bn as it struggles to recover from pandemic

Shepherd Bushiri: ECG church urges members not to make statements on social media, take interviewsThe Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church national office has urged its members to refrain from making crude statements on social media or taking interviews regarding the case against their “spiritual parents”. Bushiri is a victim of circumstances. Release him. There are some stupid pastors who fear him hence they want him arrested. What statement can they make ba sae tsesilo....the court of law will surely be the one make a statement .

Former board chair disputes the way Post Office fired herPost Office could be taken to court over decision endorsed by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Lawley bus driver's 'killers' also tried to kill civic leaderJust four days after the killing of Stabus's Neho Motaung, one of the men accused of his murder was allegedly part of a group of gunmen who tried to kill a local community leader.