TMG to delist from JSE
Times Media Group (TMG) will soon delist from the JSE pending a cash-and-share transaction that will enable it to expand its reach in radio and TV on the continent. Finweek takes a look at the company’s acquisitions, sales and the planned buyout by Blackstar.
When former investment banker Andrew Bonamour occupied Times Media’s of f i ces i n Rosebank, Johannesburg, as the new CEO in January 2013, the move was met with suspicion and scepticism.
Players in the media industry feared that Bonamour would sell the print side of the business, which owns the Sunday Times, Business Day and Financial Mail, once he had rid it of loss-making attributes, as he had no former editorial experience.
Bonamour has never been fazed about his lack of editorial skills though. He previously told journalism.co.za that media companies actually needed to be entrepreneurially led because the industry was changing rapidly and this necessitated quick decisions.
Under Bonamour’s watch, the group has done significant restructuring, selling so-called “non-core assets”, including Nu Metro, Exclusive Books, the Van Schaik bookstores and financial news and data group I-Net Bridge (now INET BFA), as well as retrenching staff.
He did away with a heavy management structure and reduced head office staff from 75 to six. TMG spent R20m on retrenchments in 2014 and R21m in 2013, and has been sued by former executives after TMG changed its policy on post-retirement medical aid subsidies.
“We have cleaned up Times Media,” he told Finweek. “It’s more efficient and streamlined its staff ing to match the profitability of each respective title.”
It can also be argued that TMG had no choice but to sell off assets, often at a loss, to service the massive debt burden acquired by the buyout of Avusa and