Bids for SA media arm short by R1.18 billion

The Independent News and Media (INM) group is struggling to offload its South African arm which includes online news portal, iol.co.za, and print titles including The Star, The Mercury, and the Cape Times.

Citing Ireland’s Sunday Business Post newspaper, Reuters reported that INM has received offers of around 150 million euros (R1.77 billion) for its South African unit – approximately 100 million euros (R1.18 billion) lower than the asking price.

In July last year, INM confirmed that it had appointed financial advisors, Investec and Hawkpoint, to investigate a possible sale.

While offers have reportedly fallen well short, at least two bidders are still keen to secure the unit, a number of sources in the industry are cited as saying.

In July, the Financial Times reported that Cyril Ramaphosa’s  Shanduka Group and Iqbal Survé’s JSE-listed entity, Sekunjalo Investments, were likely buyers of the titles. The latter was thought to be the front runner.

Media reports have also suggested that the Gupta family, which owns The New Age newspaper, had also expressed an interest in purchasing INM South Africa.

Ramaphosa, who was elected to the position of ANC deputy president at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference in Mangaung in November, is in the processes of reviewing his interests in business.

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Bids for SA media arm short by R1.18 billion