INM receives clearance for sale of South African assets
Disposal expected to raise €148 million, to be used to reduce debt at the company
The sale of INM’s South African assets is expected to raise net proceeds of €148 million, which will be used to pay down some of the publisher’s €430 million debt. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Independent News and Media has received competition clearance for the sale of its South African assets.
The sale, approved by the South African Competition Commission, is expected to raise net proceeds of €148 million, which will be used to pay down some of the publisher’s €430 million debt.
The announcement completes the first stage of debt restructuring at the company as outlined to shareholders in May.
The remaining stages of the restructuring will require a negotiated reduction in the group’s defined benefit pension scheme, followed by a capital raise later in the year.
The Sekunjalo Group, a media consortium chaired by Iqbal Survé, will pay about two billion rand (about €170 million) for INM’s South African media house, which publishes the Star and Daily Voice, along with evening, weekend and local newspapers and magazines.
The consortium, whose shareholders include the country’s largest union federation, Cosatu, the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union, and the Food & Allied Workers Union, whill hold a 75 per cent stake. The remaining 25 per cent will be held by the Government Employees Pension Fund.