Dublin - Irish publishing group Independent News & Media
has received offers of around €150m for its South African unit, about €100m
less than the expected price tag, Ireland's Sunday Business Post newspaper
Offers fell below the €250m linked to the sale, but at least
two bidders are believed to still be involved in the race to secure the unit, a
number of sources in the industry are cited as saying.
The publisher has taken radical steps to restructure in
recent years, which include selling its flagship UK title the Independent, in
response to high levels of debt and tough trading.
The Sekanjalo consortium led by the philanthropist Iqbal
Surve is the frontrunner to secure the unit, but INM is still hopeful of
reaching a higher price through a competitive process, according to the newspaper.
The company announced last July that it had appointed
advisors to look at a range of options for its South African operations.
INM generates about two-thirds of revenue from local
newspapers in Ireland, including the dominant daily and Sunday titles north and
south of the border, and the rest from it's South African unit, where it is the
leading newspaper publisher.
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