Multi-billion rand bid for Independent

The Sekunjalo Consortium has made a multi-billion rand bid to buy Independent Newspapers, The Times reported on Tuesday.

The consortium had reportedly offered between R2.3 billion and R2.4bn for the media group.

The offer was being assessed by the board of the group's Irish owner, Independent News and Media, and its advisers, Investec and Hawpoint.

An unnamed source close to the Irish company told The Times the offer had been underwritten by an investment bank. It was valid for 60 days.

“It is a very firm and fair offer in terms of pricing. It will be hard for any one bidder to match this,” the source said.

Independent Newspapers publishes The Star, the Pretoria News, the Cape Times, the Daily News, and The Mercury.

Rival organisations were also reportedly trying to put together bids for the group.

The Sekunjalo Consortium was led by Sekunjalo Holdings chairman Iqbal Surve, and included two unions, a Canadian billionaire, and a Silicon Valley billionaire as advisers. It was believed to be funded by the Qatari Royal Fund. - Sapa