Allan Gray statement:
Allan Gray notes with outrage the financial settlement claimed by Serge Belamant upon his retirement as CEO of Net1. We are very surprised that Mr Belamant was able to negotiate such an extravagant deal after such broad public censure and believe that it is unjustified given current circumstances.
For a number of years we have been concerned about multi-million rand ex-gratia severance payments made to executives and that shareholders are unable to block such payments. We have raised our concerns with the King IV project team, as well as the JSE during their review of the JSE Listings Requirements, and made the recommendation that material severance payments to executives should be subject to a binding vote by shareholders.
As our proposals have not been implemented and we were not privy to the negotiation with Mr Belamant, we regret the settlement reached.
Net1 to Pay Departing CEO Belamant $8 Million, Share Premium
By Antony Sguazzin
(Bloomberg) – Net1 UEPS Technologies said it’s agreed to pay its founder and chief executive officer an $8m (R105m) severance payment and an about 14% premium on his shares after he agreed to step down amid a storm of controversy over a contract it holds in South Africa to distribute billions of dollars of welfare payments to 17 million people.
Serge Belamant will also be paid $50 000 a month to consult for the company after his early retirement, the company said in a disclosure to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Net1 agreed to buy back over 1 million shares he owns at $10.80 a share. It agreed to allow the accelerated vesting of 200 000 shares and the repurchase of more than 252 000 “in-the-money” stock options at $10.80 a share minus the applicable exercise price per option.
The stock traded at $9.47 as of 11:34 am in New York.