NEWS

The Guptas Want To Clear Their Name By Selling ANN7 And The New Age To Mzwanele Manyi

The deal was worth more than R400 million.

21/08/2017 10:46 SAST | Updated 21/08/2017 11:11 SAST
RODGER BOSCH via Getty Images

Former government spokesman Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi has bought Gupta-owned television channel ANN7 for a reported R300 million and The New Age newspaper for R150 million, Fin24 Tech reported on Monday.

"The sale will also allow the shareholder [the Gupta family] the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations," a statement issued by Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments said.

According to TimesLive, Manyi said he looked forward to completing the deal.

"I am delighted to have reached an agreement with Oakbay and look forward to successfully completing the deal," Manyi said in a statement.

"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."

The deal makes Manyi the majority shareholder of ANN7 and The New Age. Fin24 Tech reported that the deal was likely to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Manyi is also the owner of a company called Lodidox.

According to The Times, sale was announced on Monday by Oakbay Investment and it is understood the Gupta's shareholding in Infinity Media‚ which runs ANN7 TV news was sold for R300m, while Oakbay's two-third's stake in TNA Media‚ the publisher of The New Age, was sold for R150m.

The deal was worth R450 million. Oakbay acting CEO Ronica Ragavan told Fin24 Tech the deal was to benefit both parties.

"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," she said.

"Both businesses are inherently sound and well positioned for growth in their respective market segments. We wish them every success in the future."

The sale comes after South Africa's top four banks blacklisted the Gupta group's accounts in 2016.