Manyi claims prejudice over media purchase

Oakbay Investments is vendor-financing the deals.

A valuation of the business by accounting firm Cajee Razak Associates, which was seen by Business Day, placed Infinity’s value at between R40.5m and R60.6m, valuing Oakbay’s shares at R39.4m.

The valuation was done for the sale of most of the shares owned by Indian shareholder Essel Media.

Manyi seems to have grossly overpaid for Infinity Media, something he has denied.

“I reject with contempt the calculations and forecasts made by several publications based on unrelated minority share disposal figures in the public domain versus the profitability of The New Age and ANN7,” he said on Wednesday.

Infinity Media used to be held in part by India’s Essel Media Group and the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments.

Both had a 35% stake in the company. Senior staff and management held a 9% stake.

President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma had a stake in Mabengela, which held a 21% stake in Infinity Media.

Earlier this week, Duduzane Zuma said in an open letter to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan that he was selling his shares in Gupta-linked firms so that he could focus on clearing his name.

On Wednesday, Manyi said Lodidox was now the only shareholder in Infinity Media.

He said that an Indian media company still held a 7% share in The New Age newspaper, but that it would retain those shares because it contributed a wealth of knowledge in the media industry.

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