Billion rand bid for newspaper group
THE Sekunjalo Consortium has put up a bid of between R2.3-billion and R2.4-billion for Independent Newspapers SA , which publishes The Star, the Pretoria News and the Cape Times.
The offer is being assessed by the board of the group’s Irish owner — Independent News and Media — and its advisers, Investec and Hawpoint.
A source close to the Irish company said the offer had been underwritten by an investment bank. It is valid for 60 days.
“It is a very firm and fair offer in terms of pricing. It will be hard for any one bidder to match this,” the source said.
Rival groups are working hard to put together bids for the newspaper group.
Staff at Independent Newspapers are also involved, having organised themselves into the Independent Trust for Media Freedom . It is not known whether they form part of the Sekunjalo bid or are aligned with a rival bidder.
“All we can say at this stage is that we are talking to a number of possible partners,” said Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois, one of the trustees .
The Sekunjalo Consortium, led by Sekunjalo Holdings chairman Iqbal Surve, includes two unions, a Canadian billionaire and a Silicon Valley billionaire as advisers. It is also believed to have funding from the Qatari Royal Fund.
Surve has declined to comment .