Choppies tycoon buys Masisi out

Daniel Chida
IN BETTER TIMES: President Masisi and Ottapathu

“I can confirm that we decided to buy back the shares” RAM

Choppies Enterprises Limited Tycoon, Ramachandran Ottapathu has bought back president Masisi’s shares for an undisclosed some in Arcee (pty) Ltd, a million pula controversial manufacturing company incorporated in 2017.

Arcee attracted controversy when it surfaced in the Choppies 2018 annual report under the ‘Related party transaction’ section.

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Soon after that it went on to make news headlines for allegedly raking in over P10 million in payment from Choppies in 2018 for the supply of cleaning detergents.

In 2017 the same Arcee had reportedly made over P6.7 million still from Choppies, a Botswana Stock Exchange listed company headed by Ottapathu as its CEO and major shareholder.

The payments which happened at a time when Choppies could not release its annual financial statements because of accounting irregularities were highly criticised by those who argued that it was ethically wrong for Ottapathu to appoint a company he co-owned with the president to profit from a public company he was the CEO of.

This week a source close to the events indicated to The Voice that Ottapathu had partnered with Masisi in 2017 for political expediency but has since lost confidence in Masisi’s ability to win the next general elections in 2024, hence the decision to offload him.

Another source has however argued that Ottapathu offered to buy back the president’s shares after realising that having a politically exposed person {PEP) as a business partner posed serious challenges as it placed Arcee under microscopic scrutiny by anti money laundry agencies, especially on the international arena.

“Transactions take longer and are scrutinised more than normal and the company is monitored closely for possible financial crimes as PEPs are considered to be more susceptible to corruption and economic crime because of their influence.

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“Ram is the one who offered to buy Masisi out for those reasons,” the source explained.

Reluctant to answer questions from The Voice Ottapathu could only say, “I can confirm that we decided to buy back the shares because we saw the need to do that.”

Although a questionnaire sent to President Masisi through his Press Secretary to the President, Batlhalefi Leagajang, was not responded to at the time of going to print, Companies and Intellectual Property Authority’s (CIPA}’s website had by Wednesday already listed Masisi as former shareholder together with one Chandrakant Govind leaving Ram as the sole proprietor at of Arcee.

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