Astoria is a Mauritian-domiciled global investment company with primary listings of its shares on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and the Alternative Exchange (AltX) of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Astoria’s board takes responsibility for the strategy and governance of the Company. The responsibility for managing Astoria’s portfolio of assets rests with RECM Global, a Mauritian-domiciled investment advisory company associated with Piet Viljoen and Jan van Niekerk, who are both non-executive directors of Astoria.
Astoria aims to grow its net asset value per share, measured in US Dollars, at a high real rate over time. If we manage to achieve this, we will also generate
good returns in other currencies, including South African Rands, in which many of our shareholders own their shares. There are no restrictions on geography, currency, or type of investment in Astoria’s mandate. We intend to utilize the full flexibility of this mandate, but a large part of RECM Global’s experience, networks, history, and cultural understanding reside in South Africa.
We look to invest the bulk of the portfolio in good businesses, partner with good management teams and do so at fair prices.
When considering listed assets, our natural inclination leans toward “value investing”. We are attracted to opportunities where investors extrapolate depressed conditions, underestimate future potential, or simply neglect assets. Forced selling, which often occurs due to loss of control through high leverage, client redemptions in open-ended funds, or just plain fatigue, adds to the pool of opportunities. And because transactions are easily executed on a screen, the seduction of immediate liquidity for sellers can create opportunities for us to buy such assets at prices well below fair value.
In privately negotiated transactions, however, “value investing” doesn’t work. Our best investments have come from dealing with peers, where both parties want to work together and where both parties bring value to bear from complementary contributions. In most of these instances, value is not created by being overly sharp with the initial price paid, but rather through working together over a long time to build the business by implementing sensible expansion plans, serving customers better, maintaining assets properly, and returning excess capital to shareholders. When this process is followed, paying a fair price at inception of the transaction creates a win-win outcome.