Sagarmatha Technologies Limited, an integrated multi-sided platform technology group, is scheduled to list on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) within the next two weeks.
The company will be listed as ‘Sagarmath’ with the share code – SGT – within the media sector, sub-sector broadcast and entertainment. It’s abridged pre-listing statement was posted late Wednesday, 28th March 2018.
Sagarmatha’s broad base of shareholders includes international investors such as Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers, and Harold Doley Jr, who has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange for 34 years, along with trade unions, and a number of strategic partners such as British Telecoms, Coriant, Nokia, Saab Grintek Technologies, and Siemens.
The company has identified key strategic points for citizen growth and knowledge empowerment within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it rolls out across Africa. Sagarmatha is a global technology group with an integrated value proposition of platforms, e-commerce, content, and distribution, enabled for prime customer monetisation within the context of this digital inclusion. With its offerings and established presence across the continent, Sagarmatha is firm in its belief that it has the potential to become the leader in e-commerce, digital media, syndicated content and technology ventures in Africa.
The listing is contingent on raising a minimum amount of R3 000 000 000.
In order to provide Sagarmatha with additional capital to fund its further expansion, the company will, in conjunction with the listing, undertake a private placement involving an offer to invited investors to subscribe for up to 189 298 334 ordinary no par value shares in the company (private placement shares), at R39.62 per share, thereby raising R7,5-billion.
Sagarmatha’s day-to-day operations are led by a seasoned team with joint CEOs, Grant Fredericks and Gary Hadfield. Fredericks will focus on business development across Africa, in light of his many years in media and content syndication, whereas Hadfield will bring his proven track record in the e-commerce sector to bear.
The company has 14 verticals as component parts of its ecosystem that are inter-dependent of each other but amplify the value proposition of the overall group.
“We believe Sagarmatha is uniquely positioned to create an integrated multi-sided platform ecosystem in Africa that knits technology platforms; content creation, content distribution and e-commerce into a consolidated value proposition aimed at attracting prime customers for monetisation,” says Fredericks.
In addition to its other holdings, Sagarmatha Technologies owns 83,3% of Loot Online. The online retailer currently offers 14 million products across 17 categories: Books; Movies and TV; Games; Music; Computers; Toys; Baby; Kitchen; Home; Outdoor; DIY; Health and Beauty; Stationery and Office; and Arts and Crafts.
“E-commerce presents a significant opportunity in Africa with a number of factors supporting its expansion, including increasing online penetration and mobile adoption; the emergence of new payment methods; and improved network and logistics infrastructure,” says Hadfield.
The South African online retail market is still very nascent, constituting in the region of 2% of total general merchandise retail sales (excluding groceries). In the rest of Africa, e-commerce is also in a very early stage and the traction is mostly in the general merchandise marketplace.
“In Africa B2C e-commerce is still very contestable with a high degree of price elasticity. This presents an ideal opportunity for Sagarmatha,” says Hadfield, who also believes the timing is right for major expansion in the online B2C vertical space and B2B industrial sector.
“This is a long-term African play and it is not about short-term gains. Sagarmatha understands this and is ready to unlock the value,” he adds.
Sagarmatha also has an international advisory board (IAB) to guide it on its growth path. Chaired by Ambassador Harold Doley Jr, the IAB includes global investment expert, Jim Rogers (Quantum Fund); Dr Julius Akinyemi (founder and CEO, UWINCorp); Elena Tarasenko (founder and MD of the Turner Group); Dr Makaziwe Mandela; Yoshito Hori (president: GLOBIS University and managing partner: GLOBIS Capital Partners); Dirk Hoke (CEO of Airbus Defence and Space); Jai Shroff (global CEO of United Phosphorus Limited); Dutch investor, Marcel Boekhoorn; Dr Chung Hon Dak (chairman, Chung Hon Dak Foundation and China Energy Storage Holdings Limited), and Vikramjit Sahney (founder and chairman, Sun Group).