Johannesburg - Independent News & Media (INM), the
indebted Irish media group which owns the Cape Times and Pretoria News, is
looking to sell off its South African business which could be valued at around
€250m, The Financial Times reports.
The group has appointed Hawpoint and Investec as advisers on
a possible sale of INM's South African businesses which account for a third of
group revenue and half of its operating profit, according to the report.
The FT reports that the potential buyers are South African
conglomerate Shanduka Investment Holdings, owned by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa
and Sekunjalo Investment Holdings.
People familiar with the company’s plans said there had been
several expressions of interest.
Last year the South African division reported revenues of
€194.6m and operating profit of €37.6m.
Proceeds from a sale of its South African operation would go
towards paying down its debt, said the report.
“INM has debt maturing over the next three years with a key
tranche worth €350m maturing in May 2014 and it will have to refinance well in
advance of that date.”
“The company could look to dispose of its South African or
Australian business, but the issue would be getting an attractive price in the
"INM’s South African business is a good business that is
performing well,” an analyst was quoted as saying.