Caxton offloads Pearson stake for R703 million

Media and printing group Caxton, has entered into an agreement disposed of its remaining 15% in Pearson Holdings Southern Africa in a deal worth R703.3 million.

Caxton will dispose of 7,500 ordinary shares in Pearson Holdings Southern Africa (PHSA) to Longman Group, the holding company of PHSA.

In 2009 Caxton disposed of 35% of its 50% shareholding in PHSA to Longman.

The agreement entered into on, or about 22 October 2008 – governing the initial disposal – contained put and call options on the remaining shareholding of 15%. The company has now exercised its option to dispose of the investment.

Caxton will dispose of the residual shareholding to Longman for R703.3 million in cash, payable on delivery of the share certificates evidencing the residual shareholding to Longman.

The fair value of the residual shareholding is R353.2 million.

The proceeds of the disposal will be added to the existing cash reserves of the company, Caxton said.

On Wednesday (30 August), Caxton reported a 7% rise in turnover for the year ended June 2013.

Profit from operating activities was up by 12.2% and depreciation increased from R226.5 million to R241.6 million.

Headline earnings improved by 11.7% from 109.8 cents to 122.6 cents per share.

The board has declared a dividend of 55.0 cents per ordinary share (gross) and a preference dividend of 450.0 cents per share (gross) for the year ending 30 June 2013.

Caxton owns 41% in Moneyweb, while additional brands include Farmers Weekly, The Citizen, and a number of community titles.

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Caxton offloads Pearson stake for R703 million