Media24 welcomes completion of Competition Commission’s merger investigation

3 April 2017

Media24 today (MONDAY 3 APRIL) welcomed the conclusion of the Competition Commission’s year-long investigation into the Media24/Novus Holdings merger.

South Africa’s largest media company says the Competition Commission has decided to recommend to the Competition Tribunal that the merger be approved on condition that Media24 divests itself of its majority shareholding in Novus Holdings by unbundling the shares to the shareholders of Naspers. Media24 will thus be allowed to retain a 19% non-controlling minority shareholding in Novus Holdings, it says.

The Commission’s recommendation is subject to the Competition Tribunal’s approval.

“The timing of this next part of the process is dependent on the Competition Tribunal processes and we will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the process is concluded as soon as possible to end this period of legal uncertainty,” Media24 says.

Despite the proposed unbundling Media24 remains committed to its print media operations. “Print media is and will remain a core part of Media24’s portfolio,” it said.

“We are excited about the future of Media24, and the conclusion of this process enables us to focus on our objective of enriching the lives of our consumers through our strong portfolio of digital and print media products, efashion, ecommerce services and online job classifieds.”

Background:
In February 2015, Media24 announced its intention to list Novus Holdings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. An urgent application which sought to stop the listing was dismissed by the Competition Tribunal on 23 March 2015. An appeal was lodged against the Competition Tribunal’s ruling. On 25 November 2015 the Competition Appeal Court ruled that the implementation of the restated management agreement leading up to the listing gave rise to a change in control over Novus. The Competiiton Appeal Court required that Media24 notify the competition authorities of the transaction by way of a merger filing. The merger was filed with the Competition Commission in February 2016.