JOHANNESBURG, August 21 – Former government spokesman Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi has reached an agreement with Oakbay Investments to buy Gupta-owned television news channel ANN7 and The New Age newspaper to the tune of R450 million.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, Oakbay Investments said the deal was expected to be concluded over the next few weeks.
”The sale is part of Oakbay’s commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to over 7,500 hard working employees throughout the group and to safeguard the inherent value of the businesses in which they work,” said the statement.
“Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve. The sale will also allow the shareholder the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations.”
Manyi’s company, Lodidolox Management company is acquiring ANN7 for R300 million and The New Age for R150 million.
Manyi, a staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma, also heads African National Congress-facilitated business networking organisation, Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF).
”I am delighted to have reached agreement with Oakbay and look forward to successfully completing the deal. These are two strong businesses which are full of potential and, under the right external circumstances, can become an increasingly important and relevant part of the South African media landscape,” said Manyi.
“In addition, I am particularly impressed that the shareholders of Oakbay have agreed to do a vendor financing at acceptable terms as part of their commitment to transformation and to expedite the transaction.”
The Gupta family have other business interests in mining, hospitality, energy and information technology (IT).
The Guptas were forced to seek services of a foreign bank, Bank of Baroda, last year after South Africa’s four major banks closed all accounts of their companies. Bank of Baroda has since ceased business with companies owned by the family.
– African News Agency (ANA)