Following the tragic death of Julian Williams, the former CEO of Basileus Capital, there are on-going reports in certain media linking the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) with Basileus Capital/Julian Williams. This link is not only wholly incorrect but an insult to Basileus Capital and the memory of Julian Williams.
Julian Williams and Herman Pretorius were former business partners who jointly founded the Abante Group in 2002. The RVAF, or any of the other trusts being sequestrated, were at no stage ever part of the Abante group nor did Julian Williams ever have any connection to them.
CREATION OF BASILEUS
Julian Williams, together with a group of key staff members, split from Pretorius and the Abante Group to form Basileus Capital in 2008, together with James Ngculu. Since that time there has been no joint dealings between the two individuals. The only remaining link between Julian Williams and Pretorius was SA Superalloys, which was a legacy investment that Basileus Capital acquired from the Abante Group as part of the process of dissolution and split. SA Superalloys is invested in a superalloys business called Avalloy and Pretorius had sold R150m of preference shares in SA Superalloys to his investor base.
Recently SA Superalloys, within its rights, did not declare a preference dividend to its preference shareholders as the underlying company, Avalloy, was not in a position to do so. This resulted in a public dispute, through various media articles, between Julian Williams as a director of SA Superalloys and Pretorius.
This public dispute led to Pretorius’ investors asking the Financial Services Board (FSB) to initiate an investigation into Pretorius’ affairs. On 26 July 2012, the FSB arrived at Pretorius’ offices and he later left that meeting, with the excuse that he was going to fetch certain documents. He arrived unannounced at the offices of Basileus Capital and shot Julian Williams.
CAPE HIGH COURT
The Cape High Court is currently hearing various applications levelled against Pretorius’ funds and trusts, and four trusts have thus far been sequestrated. The legal process is continuing.
The directors of Basileus Capital have now placed the company in a process of “Business Rescue”. The directors are confident that transactions currently being discussed have the potential to further develop certain key assets owned by Basileus Capital, which will ultimately enhance the value of these companies. Further information regarding this process will be communicated as soon as possible.