Mzwanele Manyi. Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES
Mzwanele Manyi. Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES

New media owner Mzwanele Manyi says his acquisition of the Gupta-owned media assets is a done deal, however it is still unclear whether the Competition Commission needs to sign off on it.

Manyi, who bought the Gupta’s Infinity Media and The New Age, said on Sunday the deal had been finalised and it was just the technical issues, such as informing the commission, that were outstanding.

"It’s a change of ownership … Whatever the market share, it remains the same. The complication with mergers and acquisitions is whether it creates a monopoly," Manyi said.

In August, Oakbay Investments announced its withdrawal from its media interests‚ selling its shareholding in Infinity Media and The New Age to Lodidox and management, owned by Manyi, for R450m.

Lodidox and management will take Oakbay’s 65% shareholding in Infinity Media for R300m and its two-third stake in TNA Media for R150m.

The Competition Commission’s head of communications Sipho Ngwema said the commission had not been informed of the acquisition, but it also depended on whether the deal qualified for the commission to be notified.

"It will depend on whether there is a total takeover of control, what are the assets, what is the turnover of the company. We would have to know how much they turnover and whether it is a major transaction, small transaction or intermediary," he said.

According to section 13 of Competition Act, any party to an intermediate or large merger must inform the Competition Commission seven days earlier of the conclusion of the merger agreement, public announcement of it or the acquisition by any one of the parties to that merger, of a controlling interest in another.

Section 13(3) says the parties to an intermediate or large merger must not implement that merger until they have received approval from either the Competition Commission, the Competition Tribunal or the Competition Appeal Court.

Manyi said his technical team was working on informing the commission. It is not clear whether the deal is an intermediary or large acquisition.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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