Old Mutual's largest shareholder wants the insurance giant to urgently end a months-long dispute with fired chief executive Peter Moyo, local media reports, citing Reuel Khoza, chairman of the Public Investment Corporation.
The PIC told the Old Mutual board chairman Trevor Manuel to urgently resolve the disagreement with Moyo, who, despite scoring two court victories against the insurer, was prevented from resuming work by the company. The PIC, Africa's largest fund manager, is concerned about Old Mutual's plan to end the dispute through courts as the legal route may become "protracted," local news outlet the Sunday Times cites Khoza as saying.
"While that proceeds apace, the company's performance will be suffering, the share price will be eroding or may fail to recover," Khoza said. "We would prefer for the two parties to come together and resolve the matter."
We cannot sit back and behave as though there are no problems"
He added there had been "communication at executive level on several occasions, but at board level I have personally taken the trouble to talk to Moyo and his lawyers and get to understand what their stance is in terms of how best to resolve this situation"
"We believe we are dealing with essentially reasonable parties, but one party might feel this way and the other might feel that way. We don't believe in threats, we don't believe in imposing ourselves unduly in the affairs of our investee companies, but we cannot sit back and behave as though there are no problems."
Axed Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo has asked the South African high court to punish the company's current directors with six months' jail time, without the option of a fine, for being in contempt after they refused his court ordered reinstatement.