Manyi settles Gupta loan after amount due lowered

Cape Town - Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi claims he has paid the Gupta family in full for ANN7 and The New Age newspaper, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

The newspaper reported that Manyi said in a statement released on Saturday that the original amount owed has been lowered after renegotiations. He said he made full settlement of what he still owed the Guptas.

According to Manyi, he released the statement to save hundreds of jobs by putting to rest "any suspicions of lingering involvement" by the Gupta family in the media company.

The Gupta's Oakbay company had sold The New Age and ANN7 to Manyi for R450m. Oakbay Investments said in a statement in August last year that Manyi-owned Lodidox bought ANN7 (Infinity Media) for R300m and The New Age (TNA Media) for R150m through vendor financing. The Guptas lent him the money for the deal.

"Consequently‚ Afrotone Media Holdings’ ownership of Infinity Media Networks‚ ANN7 and The New Age is now debt free and unencumbered," the statement issued by Manyi's Afrontone Media Holdings stated.

"As a truly South African 100% Black-owned and managed company‚ these developments strengthen Afrotone Media Holdings’ position to realise the benefits of this strategic acquisition."

In January MultiChoice announced that ANN7’s contract will not be renewed when it lapses in August 2018, and it would be removed from the DStv bouquet.

* Fin24 is part of Media24 which is, like Multichoice, part of Naspers.

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