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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Manyi buys ANN7 and The New Age from Guptas

Manyi says the deal was financed through 'vendor financing' that Oakbay's shareholders agreed to.


In a statement released on Monday morning, the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments confirmed rumours that it had sold its media empire to former government spokesperson Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi.

A company he owns, Lodidox, apparently paid R300 million for 24-hour news channel ANN7 and R150 million for The New Age newspaper, according to the statement from Oakbay.

Manyi has long been accused of working with the Guptas, particularly in promoting the notion of “white monopoly capital”. He has also allegedly received funding from the family for entities he is involved with.

It’s uncertain how Manyi will be financing the deal, but Oakbay said it was done to save the jobs of 7 500 “hard-working employees” and safeguard the “inherent value of the businesses”.

The Guptas and their companies have struggled to do business in South Africa after all local banks refused to do business with them and even the Indian Bank of Baroda announced it would no longer bank the family’s companies.

Oakbay’s acting CEO Ronica Ragevan said the fact that the media companies had a new majority shareholder would give Oakbay time to “focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations”.

“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,” said Ragevan.

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

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.”

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