Court victory for Ayo in PIC R4.3bn repayment case

The compliance notice was for the PIC to recover its R4.3-billion investment in Ayo Technology Solutions.

The compliance notice was for the PIC to recover its R4.3-billion investment in Ayo Technology Solutions.

The Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) order issued to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to recoup R4.3-billion from Ayo Technology Solutions has been declared unlawful by the Pretoria high court.

In a judgment on Tuesday, the court ruled that the compliance notice issued by the CIPC in February to the PIC should be set aside. The compliance notice was for the PIC to recover its R4.3-billion investment in the JSE-listed technology company.

The PIC was also ordered to recover any interest that may have accrued on the investment within six months.

The IT company said after receiving the notice at the time that it was, in its view, “incorrect for several reasons”, and that the CIPC had incorrectly stated its revenues.

Ayo Technology Solutions is linked to Cape Town businessman Iqbal Survé, who holds an indirect stake in the company.

The Pretoria high court heard an urgent application last week by AYO in a bid to stop the CIPC from enforcing the compliance notice and to prevent the PIC from complying with the notice. The court on Tuesday also dismissed the CIPC’s counter application.

Ayo was awarded the costs of the case.

Meanwhile the Mpati commission of inquiry, which is currently investigating the PIC’s governance and investment decisions, has focused on the decision by the state run asset manager to take up the full initial public offering of Ayo in December 2017.

The commission, chaired by Justice Lex Mpati, has heard of the close relationship between former PIC chief executive Dan Matjila and Survé who is also executive chairperson of Independent Media. — Fin24

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge.

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