By Hilary Mare
TRUSTCO Group Holdings Limited (Trustco) has moved to address a ‘false’ presentation that has been widely circulated with apparent findings that paint the company as is ill-managed and in financial freefall.
Company secretary at Trustco Amanda Bruyns last week rubbished the anonymous presentation as false, baseless and contradictory.
“Trustco shareholders are referred to a false anonymous presentation that has been making the rounds since November 2017. The presentation was served at the Trustco board meeting on 24 November 2017 where the board took notice of the presentation and decided that it was not worthy of a reply.
“Shareholders are advised that Trustco has not been approached by the author of the presentation for insight into its business operations and none of the allegations or statements have been discussed, tested or verified with management. The presentation is filled with intentional false statements, material omissions and opinions that are not supported by accurate information,” Bruyns said.
She further said Trustco’s view is that the presentation may have been compiled for interested parties, who recently wished to short the TTO Share, or for other nefarious reasons, that are not clear to the company.
“Trustco views the shorting of a share as an important process in price discovery, if … done ethically, and furthermore encourages open and rigorous debate about the business, but from an informed and impartial perspective. Unfortunately the presentation fails by this standard.”
Bruyns also acknowledged that recently, the same presentation has been submitted to funders of the company and its shareholders, Trustco’s auditors and regulator, highlighting that the current view of the board was that this presentation was recently distributed to deceive shareholders and the unsuspecting investment public to illegitimately disturb the capital restructuring of the business, as previously disclosed to shareholders.
“The anonymous author acknowledges on his own account that ‘I just hope this presentation never gets in the hands of QVR [Dr Quinton van Rooyen, the CEO of Trustco]. I have no doubt I will be slapped with a case of defamation…’, she notes.
The board is in the process of obtaining legal advice on how to address the distribution of the fraudulent presentation and ensure the author and peddlers of the presentation are held accountable. The anonymous author throughout the presentation seemingly contradicted themselves and admitted that their conclusions may not be accurate.
“The company believes its corporate governance culture is strong and the communications and disclosures are and always have been transparent, clear and to the point. Should any shareholder or interested party have any questions relating to the presentation or to the business of the company, they are invited to contact the company secretary,” Bruyns noted.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015