Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  28 Mar 2011

VENTURES: Wiese's Golden Years


Recent Western Cape Business News

RETAIL sector doyen Christo Wiese, who has amassed a fortune from affordable shopping concepts like Shoprite and PEP, appears to be giving a new meaning to the concept of “enjoying your golden years”.

Wiese (who will be 70 this year) hardly seems likely to take up a quiet retirement. If anything the adventurous investor – whose non retail investments stretch from industrial equipment (Invicta), financial services (PSG), mining (Brian Gilberston’s Palinghurst venture) and technology (Digicore) – is looking to take on more risk.

We say this because reports would suggest Wiese is growing increasingly fascinated with gold, holding significant interests in Gold One International and White Water Resources (WWR).

GoldOne and WWR are not exactly what one would call well established mining ventures, although both counters have undertaken some inspired moving and shaking.

It’s not the first time Wiese has punted for precious metals. CBN readers will surely remember Wiese’s (profitable) involvement in one of the Cape’s most successful junior mining ventures, Ocean Diamond Mining Holdings (ODM).

The interesting thing about Wiese’s involvement in GoldOne and WWR is that both these companies can trace their roots to Cape Town…in fact the very unlikely mining domiciles of Sea Point and Tokai.

GoldOne essentially came about using Les Holmes’ Sea Point-based Sub-Nigel (then a dormant mine) as a vehicle for corporate action that ultimately has appeared to have drawn in some rather productive gold mining assets.

WWR was the old Matodzi shell, which has been managed out of an office in Tokai. WWR is set to be bolstered by a deal that will see GoldOne reverse some of its more marginal assets into the company, which will then be renamed Goliath Gold.

While Wiese’s play for gold is fascinating, it probably is worth putting matters in context. While the gold investments may be substantial by man-in–the –street standards, the gold holdings probably represent a sliver of Wiese’s main investment holdings in Shoprite and unlisted Pepkor.

Still, it’s a situation worth watching – especially with GoldOne (and this may well recall developments at ODM in the nineties) starting to kick through some rather promising production figures.

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