Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium (“SIM”) and INM PLC today announced that the purchase by SIM of the INM South Africa (“INMSA”) was successfully concluded on the agreed closing date last week.
INM is the publisher responsible for some of South Africa’s most famous and oldest newspaper brands, such as the Star, Cape Times, Argus and Natal Mercury, in addition to younger titles such as the wildly successful Isolezwe.
At an informal meeting at INMSA’s head office in Johannesburg newly appointed Chairman, Dr Iqbal Surve, said he was delighted that the deal was now done and he was looking forward to playing a part in growing, developing and importantly also diversifying the Independent business in South Africa as well as in Africa.
He said that having the business back in South African hands was good for the country with its strong stable of titles able to play an important role in positively engaging with the people of South Africa with the aim of enhancing the country both culturally and economically.
Vincent Crowley, chief executive of INM PLC, said that he too was pleased that the sale process had been successfully completed and was confident that in Sekunjalo and Dr Surve the South African business will be in good hands and will prosper in the coming years.
Chief Investment Officer for the Public Investment Corporation (acting on behalf of GEPF) Dr Daniel Matjila said: “Based on our assessment, we are confident that the investment in Independent News & Media will yield the required returns and contribute positively to the South African media landscape.”
Tony Howard, CEO of INMSA, said he was excited by the deal and looked forward to working together with the new owners to invigorate and grow the business.
A positive transaction
Vincent Crowley and Dr Surve said that what had been most pleasing had been the positive and constructive manner in which the sales process had taken place which was testimony to the committed focus of advisory teams on both sides.
Dr Surve said that importantly, guided by the good interactions in the process, the buyer and seller had today agreed that the two companies will maintain an ongoing cooperation at various levels – especially in respect of the transformation and diversification of publishing structures and products and importantly the growing synergies between print and digital offerings.r Surve thanked the advisors, Investec, CannacordGenuity, CitiBank, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and ENS as well as the funding institutions including the PIC (acting on behalf of GEPF) and the partners CITVC and the CAD Fund plus the management of INMSA. Dr Surve said he was looking forward to his engagement with the staff of the company both as employees and as future shareholders in the soon to be established Staff Shareholder Trust.
The Chairman of the Pan African Business Forum, Prosper Ladislas Agbesi, who flew in to witness the symbolic handover of INMSA from INM PLC said the entire African continent applauds this ownership change and is looking forward to working with Independent on the African continent.