Lebashe Investment Group chair Tshepo Mahloele. Picture: THAPELO MOREBUDI
Lebashe Investment Group chair Tshepo Mahloele. Picture: THAPELO MOREBUDI

Tiso Blackstar Group, the former publisher of the Business Day and Sunday Times, says it has sold its entire stake in Gallo Music for R75m to Lebashe Investment Group’s Arena Holdings.  

In 2019, Lebashe, which bought Tiso Blackstar’s media assets for R1.05bn, was granted a right of first refusal if the company elects to sell its interest in Gallo.

Lebashe, headed by chair Tshepo Mahloele, launched a new company, Arena Holdings, housing media assets including Sowetan, Daily Dispatch, The Herald, Business Day TV and Financial Mail.

The sale will see Arena taking over Gallo Music Investments (GMI) and Indigenous Film Distribution (IFD). 

GMI is a music publishing and record company whose business involves the acquisition of music rights, as well as representing artists, recording, manufacturing, distributing digitally and physically and selling pre-recorded music and video in SA and internationally under the names of “Gallo Record Company” and “Gallo Music Publishers”.

The business of IFD involves the acquisition, marketing and distribution of motion pictures and other film media produced in SA and the rest of Africa and distributed globally.

The company said the majority of the proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce its debt “to appropriate levels”.

On March 5, the London-based group said  it had entered into new negotiations for the sale of its radio assets in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria to Lebashe after an initial deal, part of the media assets sale in 2019, failed to materialise.

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.

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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