Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM) has been approved by the Competition Commission to acquire the Independent News & Media South Africa (INMSA), which is the publisher of daily and weekly newspapers including flagship titles such as The Star, the Cape Argus, The Mercury, and the Pretoria News.
SIM, including Dr. Iqbal Surve‘s Sekunjalo Group, various trade unions, women’s interest advancement groups, community elevation organizations and others, is a consortium with diver membership.
The public investment corporation (PIC) which is acting on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund will also have a piece of the cake, as it will acquire a direct, sectional and non-controlling stake in INMSA.
The approving also had its own conditions involved; some of these are to ensure that the PIC, as an institutional investor with existing ownership interests in other print media operators, does not allow itself, through its common ownership links, to become an unwitting conduit for co-ordinated effects between the competing print media operators in the future.
They are also required to maintain appropriate boundaries between internal PIC managers of each media owner investment and separate director appointments, to the extent that PIC does appoint representatives to any media owners’ board.
Dr. Surve explained that, following the conclusion of the original sale agreement, two third party Chinese investors reached agreed with Sekunjalo Independent Media to effectively acquire a portion of Sekunjalo Independent Media’s stake in INMSA, through a special purpose vehicle, such that post-merger, the Chinese investors intend to acquire a minority stake in INMSA.
Tony Howard, CEO of INMSA, said today that the final transfer of ownership was expected to be completed on 15 August 2013 which beckoned the start of an exciting new era for the company.