Times Media sells Career Junction to PNet owners

2015-01-20 11:52 - Matthew le Cordeur
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Cape Town – Times Media Group (TMG) [JSE:TMG] has sold its online recruitment and careers business Career Junction to the Saon Group for an undisclosed amount, according to both parties.

The Saon Group is also an online recruitment site and is part of the StepStone Group, which is part of Axel Springer, the largest digital publishing house in Europe.

StepStone already has a South Africa-based online recruitment business PNet, raising questions that the two companies could merge.

“Career Junction and PNet will continue to operate as separate entities,” Saon Group marketing director Safann MacCarthy told Fin24 via email from their headquarters in Dublin.

“South Africa is a significant market with strong competitors and we know that the market can support both job boards,” said MacCarthy. “The business will continue to operate as is and there will be no impact on clients.”

“We believe that StepStone, Saon Group and Career Junction are an excellent fit, and all now sit within a company that is one of the world’s largest players within the e-classified sector.”

MacCarthy said the value of the purchase would remain undisclosed.

When contacted for comment, TMG and Blackstar CEO Andrew Bonamour confirmed that TMG had sold Career Junction.

Asked why no Sens or press release had been issued, Bonamour said that “Career Junction is very small for us”.

He did not comment on whether any retrenchments took place ahead of the sale.

Blackstar to acquire all TMG shares

Bonamour last year announced that TMG had appointed an independent board to consider an offer from his investment company Blackstar to acquire its entire ordinary issued share capital.

Blackstar currently owns 32.5% of TMG shares and intends to acquire the remaining 67.5% under the proposed scheme of arrangement.

“We have huge belief that TMG is heading into a very profitable future with a great mix of high quality legacy print media and new ventures in the broadcasting and digital spaces across the continent, and we are backing that belief with this investment,” said Bonamour.

TMG publishes the Sunday Times, as well as Business Day, Financial Mail, the Sowetan, The Times, Daily Dispatch and The Herald and owns the Times LIVE online network.

Over the past 18 months TMG has added South African radio assets in Vuma FM and Rise FM to its portfolio and made significant investment into various Ghana-based TV and radio stations.

The group also purchased the remaining 50% of BDFM last year, re-launched Summit TV as Business Day TV and has just launched the Vidi video-on-demand service.

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