Sagarmatha targets $4 billion public offering in South Africa’s first e-commerce

A South African company that owns newspapers, online shopping and classified platforms, Sagarmatha Technologies Ltd is eyeing about $4 billion in Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s first Initial Public Offering (IPO) of an e-commerce company.

The company said that it would use the money raised from the sale of the 15 percent stake in the IPO to scale up its existing platforms, acquire new ones, pay down debt and roll out regional offices in east Africa.

According to a pre-listing filing on its website, Sagarmatha said it plans to first raise R7.5 billion ($636 million) in a share placement of 189.3 million shares at 39.62 rand each.

Investors who are interested in the shares of the company include Jim Rogers, the longtime Asian bull, and co-founder of hedge fund Quantum Fund. According to Reuters, Rogers has agreed to buy between R100 million ($8.43 million) and R150 million ($12.65 million) worth of shares while Harold Doley, who was the U.S. representative to the African Development Bank during the 1980s and founder of U.S investment bank Doley Securities, has given a similar undertaking.

Sagarmatha will benefit from Johannesburg’s equity market as a lot of investors and business leaders are optimistic about the government of the newly elected President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The listing, scheduled for this Friday would reduce the stake of its top shareholder Sekunjalo Investments, a company founded by medical doctor Iqbal Surve in the 1990s, to 60 percent from 73 percent.

Reuters also said that this placement would give investors an alternative to Naspers, a 1.3 trillion rand ($109.56 billion) giant.

However, Sagarmatha said that the listing on the JSE will not go ahead if less than R3 billion ($252.73 million) is raised in the private placement.