Media24 buys remaining 50% of ‘Witness’ shares

2010-07-22 00:00

MEDIA24 has signed an agreement to buy the remaining 50% of the shares in The Natal Witness Printing & Publishing Company that they did not already own, Stuart Craib, chairperson of The Natal Witness Printing & Publishing Company, announced yesterday.

Craib said the deal is subject to a few conditions — the main one being the approval of the competition authorities.

He said it has been 10 years since Media24 acquired an initial 50% stake in the company.

“When we conducted the initial sale, it was with the knowledge that this deal was a possibility.

“With the industry as it is at the moment, Media24 has been rationalising its publishing, printing and distribution arms to get the benefit of operating on a national basis rather than a provincial basis.

“Being a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary would make it much easier for The Witness to be brought fully into the Media24 national structures — with the benefits of the economies of scale which this would bring,” Craib said.

He said, for the foreseeable future, there will be no change to the company structure. Craib will continue as the company’s chairperson.

The editor of The Witness, Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya, said the newspaper’s focus will remain unchanged.

“The best way of honouring the Craib family’s immeasurable contribution to this paper and to the South African press would be providing the highest standards of independent, thought-leading and critical journalism that The Witness has been famous for, for 164 years.”

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