Times Media Group’s largest shareholder, the Blackstar Group, intends to buy the remaining 62.5% of shares for R2bn and delist the company from the JSE. Investors have the choice of 1.45 Blackstar shares for each Times Media share, valued at R24.50 a share, or a cash payout of R22 a share. The cash portion will be limited to a maximum of R500m.
In a concurrent transaction Blackstar will also merge with Tiso Investment Holdings, which has a 23% stake in investment company Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH). The merged entity will have an asset value of about R5bn − almost double Times Media’s current market capitalisation of just below R2.8bn and will be a black majority-owned JSE and London-listed company known as Tiso Blackstar Group.
Blackstar i ntends t o r ai s e debt f rom Standard Bank and FirstRand to finance the proposed transactions. listing of the renamed TMG. The 2012 transaction saddled the company with more than R700m in additional debt, based on financial reports for the periods ended March and December 2012. The company’s outstanding debt was at R2.6bn at the end of December 2012 and has since been reduced to R1.6bn (as of 30 June 2014, the latest available results).
By the numbers
Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa for the fourth quarter last year show growth at some of the company’s print titles.
“Our magazine division enjoyed robust profit growth primarily due to the launch of new titles targeted at our existing newspaper subscribers,” Bonamour said. “SA Home Owner has grown its sales at a time when consumer magazines as a whole experienced a 4% decline. Financial Mail is now also profitable.”
He doesn’t share t he negative sentiment about print. “We have grown profitability and the margins of our print titles. The is South Africa’s largest newspaper and we don’t see its