Days before the Guptas sold The New Age and ANN7 to Mzwanele Manyi, an offer to purchase the media assets for R600 million was made, according to a report by the City Press.
The report stated that a consortium was willing to pay 70% of the price upfront, and the remaining 30% in shares.
Manyi’s Lodidox bought ANN7 (Infinity Media) for R300 million and The New Age (TNA Media) for R150 million in August.
“This raises questions about the purpose of the sale of ANN7 and The New Age to Manyi, a former head of government communications,” stated the report.
The R600-million offer was made by Southern Star Mega Investors Group Limited, with a member of the consortium – Nazeer Noormohamed – stating that they had “secured international funding to acquire the assets”.
“We were shocked when we heard the announcement that they sold it to Lodidox,” he said.
Noormohamed is a former ANC councillor in Tshwane, and owns DStv channel Glow TV and several community newspapers.
Manyi told the City Press that any suggestion he was fronting for the Gupta family was “quite insulting”.
The Gupta family declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.
News of the R600-million offer comes after a report that Manyi paid too much for ANN7.
Based on a valuation of Infinity Media Networks by accounting firm Cajee Razak & Associates in October 2015:
- “This valued the company on the basis of the present value of future earnings at R52 million.”
- “And R41 million for 100% equity value.”