Afrotone Media Holdings (AMH) on Saturday said it had successfully completed the ownership of ANN7 and The New Age newspaper.
Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi, the chairperson of AMH, bought the Guptas’ media entities in August last year for R450 million through a vendor financing deal, which meant that he was paying off a loan to the controversial family accused of state capture.
“The paid up position comes after very tough negotiations between Oakbay and Manyi’s consortium which led to the varying of the initial vendor finance deal owing to the current operating environment, Oakbay agreed to fully relinquish its hold on the companies’ pledged shares leading to a newly negotiated settlement deal,”AMH said in a statement.
“All parties to the agreement have agreed to a purchase consideration that has since been fully settled by the purchaser for an aggregate amount in accordance with sound corporate financing principles.”
Manyi said this development should finally put to rest any suspicions of the lingering involvement of the Guptas. He said the settlement of the acquisition should also provide the much needed market confidence to avert potential job loses of over 500, mainly black and young employees.
He said he had informed all affected parties, including Multichoice, paving a way for AMH to embark on a re-branding journey in order to re-position itself as a crucial player in the South African media landscape and a formidable bidder to replace ANN7 channel.
Earlier this year, MultiChoice announced that it would not be renewing ANN7’s contract when it expires in August. The pay TV operator which owns DStv said it would look for a new black-owned TV channel instead.
Read the full statement below: