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SACP opposed to Avusa takeover

Jun 21 2012 18:09

Johannesburg - The proposed Avusa [JSE:AVU] takeover by Mvelaphanda was a deliberate attempt to create a media empire, the SA Communist Party (SACP) said on Thursday.

"The SACP is strongly opposed to concentration of the ownership of media in a few monopolies," spokesperson Malesela Maleka said in a statement.

"Monopoly in media poses one of the most serious threats to diversity of opinion and media freedom."

Last week, the Mvelaphanda Group (Mvela) announced a R3bn cash-and-share offer to buy the media group Avusa.

The offer would be made through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Richtrau No 229.

Mvela currently owns 21.92% of Avusa, also through Richtrau.

The group is offering R24 per Avusa share - representing a 19% premium of its average share price over the past 30 days - or a share exchange.

Avusa shareholders could choose to exit the investment or receive 1.478 Richtrau shares for every Avusa share they own.

Maleka said modern democracies needed a choice of politics and ideas.

Choice required access to truly diverse and competing sources of news, literature, entertainment, and popular culture.

"We will be told that should the owners of media houses abuse their power, the public will punish them by exercising their choice not to buy the paper.

"But we all know that, as is the situation in South Africa, there is nothing to choose from in the first place."

He said there would be serious social consequences if this takeover was allowed to go through.

"Power and control of access to information must never be allowed to be in fewer hands," Maleka said.

sacp  |  avusa


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