A screen grab from the private property website
A screen grab from the private property website

Caxton proposes to increase its holding in digital media group Cognition from 34% to about 77% in a deal in which the newspaper and printing group will sell its half of a property listing website, Private Property, in exchange for shares.

Conditions on the deal include that Cognition shareholders waive the JSE's rule that a mandatory offer would be triggered by Caxton raising its holding in the smaller company to more than 35%.

The deal values Caxton's 50.01% of Private Property at R127m, more than Cognition's market capitalisation of R124m at Monday's share price of 90c.

In Monday's statement, Cognition said it would acquire Caxton's shares in Private Property in exchange for 106-million new shares valued at R1.20 each. This will nearly double Cognition's shares in issue.

Caxton, whose market capitalisation was R3.6bn at Monday's share price of R9.12, acquired its stake in Private Property from a US private equity group in September 2017, beating Naspers in an auction.

"Private Property is one of SA's largest property portals. The company holds a significant market share in the South African property market and, in recent years, has grown revenues in excess of 30%," Cognition said.

laingr@businesslive.co.za