Cape Town – A firm owned by Mzwanele Manyi has bought Gupta-owned media units ANN7 and The New Age, it was announced on Monday.
Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments said in a statement that Manyi-owned Lodidox bought ANN7 (Infinity Media) for R300m and The New Age (TNA Media) for R150m.
The agreement is expected to be concluded over the next few weeks, subject to any regulatory requirements, Oakbay said.
The sale comes as the Bank of Baroda pulls its plug on Gupta-owned firms, and after South Africa’s top four banks blacklisted the group’s accounts in 2016.
“The sale is part of Oakbay’s commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to over 7 500 hard-working employees throughout the group and to safeguard the inherent value of the businesses in which they work.
“Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve. The sale will also allow the shareholder the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations,” the firm said.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Lodidox and the management team; the sale of our shareholdings will secure the future of these businesses and help preserve the jobs of their employees,” said Oakbay Investments acting CEO Ronica Ragavan.
“Both businesses are inherently sound and well positioned for growth in their respective market segments. We wish them every success in the future.”
Manyi said: “I am delighted to have reached agreement with Oakbay and look forward to successfully completing the deal.
“These are two strong businesses which are full of potential and, under the right external circumstances, can become an increasingly important and relevant part of the South African media landscape.
“In addition, I am particularly impressed that the shareholders of Oakbay have agreed to do a vendor financing at acceptable terms as part of their commitment to transformation and to expedite the transaction.”
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