DOCUMENTS concerning the R2bn acquisition of English language newspaper publishing group Independent News & Media SA (INMSA) were being studied by the Competition Commission to see whether they complied with the conditions of the transaction.
Competition Commission spokeswoman Trudi Makhaya said on Wednesday: "The commission can confirm that it has received correspondence from the parties as of yesterday (Tuesday).
"The contents of that correspondence are currently being reviewed by the commission’s conditions mergers unit.”
On Wednesday‚ the old and new owners of INMSA announced the change of control.
The publishing group will now be owned by the Sekunjalo Independent Media consortium‚ with 55% of the shares; the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) with a 25% stake; and a consortium of two Chinese companies‚ China International TV Corporation (CITV) and the China-Africa Development Fund‚ will have a controlling 20% stake.
The Competition Commission approved this structure a week ago‚ after a month earlier approving a structure that did not have the Chinese companies but in which Sekunjalo Independent Media would have had a 75% stake.
In its final approval the Competition Commission said it was satisfied with the internal walls created by the PIC to prevent cross-pollination of sensitive information‚ given the PIC’s shareholding in INMSA’s rivals Times Media Group — the owner of Business Day — and Naspers‚ the owner of Media24.
Sekunjalo Independent Media chairman Iqbal Survé said he was looking forward to engaging with the INMSA staff both as employees and as future shareholders in the soon to be established staff shareholder trust.
The general secretary of union Media and Allied Workers Association of South Africa‚ Tuwani Gumani‚ said he was hoping to have a meeting with Dr Survé soon to discuss the formation of a staff trust and other issues.
INMSA CEO Tony Howard said he looked forward to working with the new owners to invigorate and grow the business.
The chief investment officer of the PIC — which is acting on behalf of Government Employees Pension Fund — Daniel Matjila‚ said: "Based on our assessment‚ we are confident the investment in Independent News & Media will yield the required returns and contribute positively to the South African media landscape.” © BDlive 2013