JOHANNESBURG – Investigative journalism collective AmaBhungane says the price of Oakbay’s media companies was grossly over-inflated.
Other commentators say it is a “sweetheart deal” designed to get financing after major banks cut the Gupta family off.
TV news channel ANN7 and The New Age newspaper were sold to a company owned by Mzwanele Manyi, a former government spokesman and supporter of the Gupta family, for R450-million.
“I see that some analysts have already said this is a major over-valuation of the companies, which seem to depend on government patronage for their survival,” said Sam Sole, Amabhungane founding partner, on Monday.
READ: More Gupta revelations as emails allege to show money-laundering
“This is also a useful way to funnel more cash out of the business and potentially offshore.”
The deal raised eyebrows on twitter too.
I’ve never run a newspaper but did run eNCA 24hr news for nearly 10 years. No chance #ANN7 is profitable or worth R300m.
— Patrick Conroy (@PatrickConroySA) August 21, 2017
ANN7 deal shows what ‘radical economic transformation’ really means #savesa #ann7 #newage #manyi #futuresa https://t.co/xXkkew9vu4 pic.twitter.com/bcYuQdjfMR
— Save South Africa (@_SaveSA) August 21, 2017
Lodidox is not paying R450m to buy TNA and ANN&. Seller is lending them the money. So no money changes hands, just control and a large loan
— Simon Brown (@SimonPB) August 21, 2017
For everyone asking where did Jimmy Manyi get R450 mln to buy ANN7 & The New Age, he didn’t. It’s a vendor financing deal. pic.twitter.com/F3kHt2Pbx5
— ArmyOfOne (@RickyMarima) August 21, 2017
Translation: The Guptas have given Mzwanele ‘Jimmy’ Manyi R450m to buy their ANN7 & New Age
Andile Mngxitama will cry for 48 days & Night https://t.co/71L2GzRcPZ
— IG @AdvBarryRoux (@AdvBarryRoux) August 21, 2017