Ascendis hires new finance boss


Ascendis hires new finance boss

Published Date: 2020-10-14 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Ascendis hires new finance boss

Cheryl-Jane Kujenga led a balance sheet restructuring process while CFO at Adcorp.

Ascendis Health has appointed former Adcorp executive Cheryl-Jane (CJ) Kujenga as its new chief financial officer from 1 December as it tackles its massive debt pile by selling business. She replaces Kieron Futter, who left at the end of last month after five years at the pharmaceuticals and healthcare group.

Kujenga was previously CFO at recruitment and training group Adcorp and served as its interim CEO from last October until May this year. As the CFO, she led that company's balance sheet restructuring process. Prior to Adcorp, she held various group finance and audit positions at a number of private and listed companies in SA. She was a partner at Ernst & Young from 2008 to 2017 during which time she served as an audit partner and the strategic growth markets leader for Africa.

Last month, Ascendis said it was stepping up its asset disposal programme to maximise value from the sale of businesses and restore stability to its balance sheet. Advisers have been appointed on key proposed asset disposals, including Remedica after the sale of the Cyprus-based business fell through last year. At the end of June, net debt amounted to R7.96 billion, up from R6.53 billion a year earlier. Since its financial year end, it has sold Scitec International in Hungary for R100 million and Ascendis Direct Selling for R10.5 million, using the proceeds to reduce debt, which amounted to R7.96 billion at the end of June.

The company's shares rose 3.35 to 62c yesterday.

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