The rise and fall of Tongaat Hulett – analyst and whistle-blower David Woollam
Tongaat analyst and whistle-blower David Woollam shares the grave details about the rise and fall of one of KZN’s most treasured businesses, Tongaat Hulett. Tongaat was the subject of accounting irregularities when its former management was responsible for cooking the books. Now the company is coming after those executives to the value of R450m, a fraction of the R10bn+ in shareholder value that has been destroyed. Operational issues coupled with a large debt burden has led the company to announce a highly dilutive rights issue, which will increase the shares in issue by 33-fold. Shareholders who own R1,000 in Tongaat will have to cough up between R6,000 and R7,000 to maintain their pro-rata shareholding. Worse, the pricing of the rights issue is yet to be determined and Tongaat shareholders are going into the new year blindfolded.