Johannesburg - Independent News and Media (INM), the country's
largest newspaper group, is up for sale, Business Day reported on Thursday.
The news, which broke on Wednesday, ignited a flurry of
speculation about politically connected buyers lining up to bid for the group.
Newspapers owned by the group include The Star, Cape Times
and Sunday Independent.
Cyril Ramaphosa's Shanduka Group and Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo
Investments were named by the Financial Times as likely buyers of the titles,
although there had been several expressions of interest.
Survé said on Wednesday it was "not the policy of
myself, or Sekunjalo group, or its holding company to comment on any
Shanduka group CEO Phuti Mahanyele denied they were
investing in Independent News and Media's South African assets.
"We are not looking at an acquisition of Independent
News and Media," Business Day quoted her saying.
An INM spokesperson reportedly told the Financial Times it
"continues to assess a range of strategic options to deleverage its
"These include cost reduction and productivity initiatives…
progressing well. No divestment decisions have been taken by the board."
Tony Howard, CEO of INM SA, was not available to comment.