oakbay investments

21st August 2017

Oakbay Investments announces the sale of its shareholdings in Infinity Media and TNA Media to Lodidox and Management for R450 million

Johannesburg, South Africa - Monday 21st August 2017

Oakbay Investments ("Oakbay") announces it has reached agreement with Lodidox and Management for the sale of its shareholdings in its two media businesses, Infinity Media and TNA, for a combined consideration of R450 million. The transaction comprises:

  • The sale of Oakbay's shareholding in Infinity Media, which operates the ANN7 News Channel, for R300 million; and
  • The sale of Oakbay's two-thirds stake in TNA Media, the publisher of The New Age newspaper, for R150 million.

The agreement is expected to be concluded over the next few weeks, subject to any regulatory requirements.

The sale is part of Oakbay's commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to over 7500 hard-working employees throughout the group and to safeguard the inherent value of the businesses in which they work.

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.

Commenting on the agreement, Ronica Ragavan, Acting Chief Executive of Oakbay, said:

"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Lodidox and the management team; the sale of our shareholdings will secure the future of these businesses and help preserve the jobs of their employees. Both businesses are inherently sound and well positioned for growth in their respective market segments. We wish them every success in the future."

Commenting on the agreement, Lodidox owner, Mzwanele Manyi said:

"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. 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."

For more information, please contact: corpcomm@oakbay.co.za.

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Clifftop Lodge is 3 hours by road from Johannesburg, easily accessible, and bears unparalleled beauty and excellent cuisine and a wine cellar for private dining.

The New Age

The New Age newspaper is a South African national daily newspaper, owned and operated by TNA Media (Pty) Ltd, the first to be launched by the group on 6 December 2010. The New Age comprises of 32 full colour pages printed in broadsheet format, it is printed in three separate locations and sold daily at R3.50.

Its signature voice is one of optimism. The paper launched into the South African newspaper market with an interest to focus on the positive side of news and yet be critically constructive,covering national events, op-ed columns, politics, Africa, International news, sports, business, entertainment, lifestyle, science, technology and marketing.

Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. which publishes the world's largest English daily newspaper, The Times of India (TOI), is an important investor and strategic partner. The company is an advisor and offers support to TNA Media in all areas of its operations, drawing from its 172 years of experience in the newspaper business and from the depth of management of printing over four million copies a day.

The New Age launched with a number of firsts and continues to be innovative in its market offering.

The firsts include:
  • first to carry a provincial page, covering news from South Africa's nine provinces
  • first to launch fully-fledged provincial editions in the Western Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Free State
  • first to launch and host the TNA Business Briefings. A platform for crucial debate accessed by over 3 million South Africans on SABC2's Morning Live. Creating a unique environment where print meets broadcast. Over 100 Business Briefings have been hosted with South Africa's political, business and sport leaders, in association with its advertisers and in partnership with the SABC.
  • Achievements and Accolades

    AMPS Readership

    The New Age has continued its astounding growth in readership, as announced in the latest industry-wide print survey. In figures released by the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF), The New Age recorded a 24.5% growth in its All Media Products Survey (AMPS) in the period from July to December 2013. This follows the paper's full-year growth of 64 percent in the period from July 2012 to June 2013.

    The latest survey results provide irrefutable proof that the paper's strategy -- of critical journalism underpinned by a philosophy of optimism about the country's future -- is working. The paper's growing national footprint, with a particular focus on provincial coverage, underpins the strategy. On 1 April 2014 The New Age launched a Northern Cape edition following the successful launch of editions in the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Free State the previous year. A full national roll-out of provincial editions is currently on the cards.

    Editor Moegsien Williams said it was apparent that the paper's approach to reflect South Africa and its society more fully and comprehensively, was a major factor in the paper's growth. "I now have no doubt that South Africans are tired of the relentless portrayal of the country as a failed state and the staple diet of crime, guts and gore on front pages. While we are mindful and pursue vigorously our fundamental watchdog role over those who wield power, it is necessary to make a virtue of the fact that regardless of the many challenges, South Africa is making sterling progress."

    This was a view scientifically proven by the 2011 Stats SA survey and independent research done by Goldman Sachs but not reflected in our media, Williams said. "It's my sense South Africans are sick and tired of editorial content that leads to a daily state of depression. They are also looking for upliftingnews, balanced opinion and journalism that champions the causes of ordinary people and the country."

    Group CEO Nazeem Howa attributed the paper's growth to innovation and reaching into new markets. "Our consistent growth can be attributed to a strategy of keeping our existing subscribers and readers happy and reaching out to the newer markets. The latest AMPS readership numbers clearly show this strategy is working for us. We will continue our strategy of adapting our content to the needs of our changing society and stay ahead of our competitors through innovations like our Business Briefings."

    He said measured against stagnant growth in most of the newspaper industry, The New Age's latest AMPS results were remarkable.

    Media Tenor SA Agenda-Setting Media Report

    In the recently released analysis of Agenda-Setting Media carried out by Media Tenor SA that covers the period 1 January to 31 March 2014 the paper scored favourably in several categories.

    In the category of 'most influential daily print', The New Age was cited as the English language daily that has been quoted most often by other media outlets. TNA's gender representation also came in for praise as it was found that we were in the top ten daily print with regards to the best representation of women in politics and that the paper represents both women and men in politics equally.

    To cap it all it was found that The New Age was the most influential daily print with regards to politics and regulatory issues.

    Cultivating Talent and Caring for Our Communities

    Cultivating our young talent and caring for our communities, sits at the heart of TNA Media. This is demonstrated in the initiatives that the company has embarked that include the training of young journalists that have ambition to make a mark in journalism through the TNA Cadet School. As well the TNA Foundation, founded in 2012 to make a difference in the lives of ordinary South Africans. To date the TNA cadet school has successfully trained 24 students who now work as journalists, and is currently training an additional 10 students and the TNA Foundation has built and donated a home to a family in Greytown, KZN.

    Copyright 2017 Oakbay Investments