VENTURES: As Mysterious As Ever
Recent Western Cape Business News
READERS may recall (not with particularly fond memories) the name of Mouldmed, the Durbanville-based wonder company that promised to make a fortune out of peddling a device that measured the strength of your wee-wee (Prostaflo) and a portable urinal for women (the Eezeewee).
Back in 2006 Mouldmed disappeared off the JSE (the company claims a voluntary delisting, but it’s more likely the local bourse gave the company the boot after not producing financial statements). The quick shunt off the JSE followed years of promising – but not delivering - grand returns from its range of weird and wonderful medical products.
The fact that the company could not produce audited financial statements heightened suspicions that all was not well in the balance sheet and cash flow statement.
With market distrust high and a multitude of pissed off shareholders one might have thought Mouldmed would have skulked away, tails between their legs. CBN was, however, alerted last month to a website that shows Mouldmed – in a much revamped guise – is still doing what it does best…generating hype.
It seems the medical products are still being peddled, and that the much mooted Mouldmed locums business is still being bandied about with vigour. But the most (morbidly) fascinating turn is the subsidiary called RRR-Link (SA) – which (oh yeah?) “plans to list on a Stock Exchange in early 2012”.
Gleaning exactly what RRR-Link does is quite a challenge.
The website says: “In a nutshell, our core business is advertising.” It explains that the new marketing strategy of RRR-Link was designed to include the highly successful (huh?) BNU Marketing Break-a-Way Program launched simultaneously in the U.K. and South Africa in 1990.
Apparently the company’s overarching mission “seeks to address’ the three most desperate needs facing SA today – employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, upliftment and an affordable advertising medium”. Ja-nee…
CBN must quote further – in case the reader has not yet grasped what RRR really does to earn its keep. “What emerged was a unique business model that combines the professional approach of a for-profit business that will generate high returns on investment for shareholders and investors alike, and the philanthropic goals of a social enterprise that will create thousands of income opportunities country-wide and empower the public in a holistic manner. The opportunities are equally available to young and old, women and men, rich or poor, educated or not so educated, and experienced or inexperienced people.”
Now apparently this “unique business model” uses a ‘non-conventional’ advertising strategy that is affordable, targeted, effective and measurable. And we quote again: “We exceed the expectations of our advertisers by directly and indirectly assisting them to promote their business, increase their customer base and working capital, and positively influencing loyalty and productivity of their staff members.”
Confused? Join the club.
Of course, the most interesting part of this spiel is that RRR’s ‘gallery’ page shows the very familiar figure of Gert Theron (snr) – looking rather natty - conducting a seminar.
Theron, long suspected of being the ‘brains’ behind Mouldmed, has – according to Noseweek - various convictions for insolvency contraventions and, in 1987, was jailed in Arizona for his role in exporting the Kubus scam to the US.
Theron is listed as the CEO of RRR, a position that won’t find favour with any bourse authorities – who like the boards of listed companies to be squeaky clean. Not that CBN really believes RRR will ever list on an established bourse…
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