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Independent Newspapers sale on the cards

Jul 11 2012 10:28

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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 current environment.

"INM’s South African business is a good business that is performing well,” an analyst was quoted as saying.



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