Will Mool­man go the whole Hogg?

Finweek English Edition - - BETWEEN THE SHEETS - SHAUN HAR­RIS shaunhar­ris@ya­hoo.com

NOW TERRY MOOL­MAN might be the vet­eran wily fox of South Africa’s me­dia in­dus­try, but did Mon­ey­web boss and edi­tor-inchief Alec Hogg know what he was do­ing when Cax­ton came in as a ma­jor share­holder? Mool­man isn’t the devil of the in­dus­try but we hope Hogg is sup­ping with a long spoon.

Mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers weren’t en­am­oured with Cax­ton’s manda­tory of­fer to mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers for vot­ing pool shares out­side those al­ready owned. And why should they have been? The of­fer (which closed last Fri­day) was for 68c/share against last week’s price of 100c/share. Only 127 317 or­di­nary shares were bought – 0,26% of Mon­ey­web’s or­di­nary share cap­i­tal. But Cax­ton also went along and bought ad­di­tional shares out­side the of­fer, rais­ing the vot­ing pool’s hold­ing in Mon­ey­web to 68,5%.

Is this a quiet takeover of Mon­ey­web, the share cap­i­tal of which Hogg has al­ways jeal­ously guarded? Prob­a­bly not: the vot­ing pool will be com­mit­ted to the best in­ter­ests of Mon­ey­web. And for Mool­man – the small news­pa­per print me­dia spe­cial­ist – Mon­ey­web is a con­ve­nient way to gain ac­cess to a good In­ter­net site.

Maybe times have changed, but this writer vis­ited Mool­man a num­ber of years ago to dis­cover he didn’t keep a com­puter on the desk in his of­fice. But he did have a huge pile of news­pa­pers.

ALEC HOGG

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