Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

It is al­ways amaz­ing to see what a to­tally new man­age­ment team can do with an es­tab­lished busi­ness, and Times Me­dia Group is just such a case. Since Blackstar did the deal that saw An­drew Bon­amour take over as CEO, the changes have been swift, with at­ten­tion ini­tially fo­cused on re­duc­ing the cost base, which pre­vi­ous man­age­ment was ei­ther happy with or felt was not pos­si­ble to re­duce. Lat­est re­sults show a R20m sav­ing in staffing at se­nior and head-of­fice level and the in­ten­tion to sell the non-core di­vi­sions. Most im­pres­sively, the R1.15bn debt raised in Septem­ber last year has al­ready been re­duced by 22% to be­low R900m.

Times Me­dia Group ers still have a strong case as yields lo­cally are around 8%, with US yields around 2%. The eq­uity buy­ers have been coming here be­cause they could get great re­turns, but if we see con­tin­ued up­side in US mar­kets, those in­vestors can now get re­turn with­out hav­ing to make the trip to SA. Hence less in­flows and a rand that’s un­likely to re­turn to the sub 7 to the dol­lar lev­els?

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