Times Media finds buyer for Exclusive Books

Times Media Group says it has entered into an agreement to dispose of two of its book retail chains, namely, Exclusive Books and The Van Schaik Group of Companies.

The buyers, a consortium led by Medu Capital, will acquire the two companies for a total of R435 million, payable in cash and consisting of:

  • A purchase consideration of R325 million for VSGC;
  • A distribution of R25.68 million from VSGC; and
  • A purchase consideration of R90 million for Exclusive Books, less a cash payment of R5 million.

Medu Capital would purchase 100% of the business, assets and liabilities of Van Schaik Bookstores, 69.98% of the shares and 100% of the claims in Bookmark, and 70% of the shares and 100% of the claims in Van Schaik Namibia.

It would also acquire 100% of the business, assets and liabilities of Exclusive Books and 40% of the shares and 100% of the claims in Airport Bookshop Proprietary, collectively known as Exclusive Books.

The Van Schaik Group of Companies are the leading suppliers of academic and reference
textbooks in South Africa and Namibia, while Exclusive Books is one of South Africa’s largest book chains with branches throughout South Africa.

Times Media has identified the two operations “as non-core as they were not aligned to the strategic direction of Times Media”.

The proceeds of the disposal will be used to reduce Times Media’s gearing and for potential future acquisitions aligned to the group’s core business.

Times Media said in March, in reporting results for the six months ended December 2012, that segmental profit from operations before exceptional items for its books division improved to R36 million, from R13 million before.

Earlier this month (September), the Competition Commission blocked the acquisition of Juta Bookshops by Van Schaik Booksellers, a division of Times Media.

The Commission found that the proposed merger is likely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in the market for academic books.

Juta is a wholly owned subsidiary of listed group,Kagiso Media and claims to be the largest local publisher of quality student textbooks in the fields of commerce, accounting, communications, social science, health, education and the law.

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Times Media finds buyer for Exclusive Books