South African Company law: what is your business or share therein really worth?

From the perspective of being a shareholder in a private company, the shareholders share in the profits of the Company, whilst directors manage the day to day business thereof.

It is also commonly accepted that shares (or shareholding in a company) represent the investment made by the shareholder and that similar to earning interest on an investment of money held in the bank, the shareholder ideally invests to get return on his/her investment.

According, to Henochsberg on the Companies Act 71 of 2008:

[A] share in a company consists of a bundle, or conglomerate, of personal rights entitling the holder thereof to a certain interest in the company, its assets, and dividends.”

Further, in terms of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 as amended, shares no longer have a nominal or par value (i.e. the stated value or face value). This means the return on investment or growth in the value of the share is not measured by way of the concept of the share premium as it were under the 1973 Companies Act. The share premium referred to the excess amount received over the par value of its shares forming part of the non-distributable reserves of the company. So, how is the value of your shareholding determined?

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