Presidential contenders Tokyo Sexwale and Cyril Ramaphosa have made an
offer to buy a 25% stake in the holding company that will own the
Sunday Times and the Sowetan, among other media assets, writes Simpiwe Piliso in the Sunday Times.

Johncom, one of the country’s largest media groups, announced in April that it would split into two listed companies — OpCo, to house its operational media assets, and Johncom, which would consist only of a 37.79% stake in Caxton, one of the largest publishers and printers of books, magazines, newspapers and commercial print in the country.

Today Business Times can reveal that Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Group and Sexwale’s Mvelaphanda Group presented a proposal to Johncom chairman Mashudu Ramano for a 25% stake in OpCo.

Although the value of the stake has not been disclosed, documents in the possession of Business Times show that Shanduka and Mvelaphanda’s offer would give the company:

# About R1-billion cash for its unbundling and restructuring.

# Forfeit an empowerment discount of 30-40% of the value of the stake, implying an estimated R400-million increase in value of Johncom shares.

They would also aim to complete the deal at the same time that OpCo is established and listed. The documents state that no shareholder approval is required for this transaction.

In one document , Mvelaphanda chief investment officer Mark Wilcox cautioned Ramano that Johncom’s delay in reaching a decision — due to the media company’s restructuring and unbundling of assets — could have an impact on the deal.

“Our concern with a delay is that the significant empowered cash our consortium has committed cannot be maintained indefinitely given the large number of projects we are presented on an ongoing basis, including in the media sector.”

Click here to read the full story, posted on the Sunday Times website.