Tiso Blackstar in talks to sell African radio assets to Lebashe
The sale of radio assets in SA, phase one of the deal, is expected to be completed in June, following approval by Icasa
London-based Tiso Blackstar Group said on Thursday it has entered into new negotiations for the sale of its African radio assets to Lebashe Investment Group after an initial deal failed to materialise.
Last year, Tiso Blackstar Group, the former publisher of Business Day, the Sunday Times and other titles, sold its print, broadcasting and content businesses in SA, Ghana and Kenya to Lebashe for R1.05bn.
The deal was to be done in two phases, with SA operations in one and the Africa operations the other.
On Thursday, Tiso Blackstar said that, despite great effort, it proved impossible to obtain the required signature of a minority shareholder of Ghanaian media company Multimedia Group to conclude the sale of its radio assets in the rest of Africa. Due to the non-fulfilment of that condition, the deal could not proceed.
The first phase of the deal, completed in November 2019, saw Lebashe, headed by chair Tshepo Mahloele, launch a new company, Arena Holdings, housing media assets including Business Day, Sowetan, Daily Dispatch, The Herald, Business Day TV and Financial Mail.
It is anticipated that the sale of the radio assets in SA will be completed in June 2020, following approval by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), Tiso Blackstar said.
Tiso Blackstar and Lebashe “are considering the conclusion of a new transaction relating to the media, broadcasting and content assets in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya and have entered into fresh negotiations in this regard”, Tiso Blackstar said in a statement.
Lebashe is an unlisted investment holding company focusing on financial services and ICT, among other things. The company has grown significantly since its inception and holds stakes in a number of well-known businesses, such as Capitec, EOH and RainFin.