Home » South African tycoon Terrence Moolman’s Caxton opposes $2.5-million distribution business sale

South African tycoon Terrence Moolman’s Caxton opposes $2.5-million distribution business sale

Caxton expresses concerns over potential anti-competitive media landscape.

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Terrence Moolman

Key points:

  • Caxton opposes Media24’s R45 million sale of On the Dot to Novus Holdings, citing anti-competitive concerns.
  • Caxton’s chair warns the deal could lead to closure of key print editions and around 400 job losses, impacting news reporting.
  • The opposition highlights a looming regulatory battle over South Africa’s print media landscape’s future.

Caxton & CTP Publishers (Caxton), a South African Publishing giant led by South African media mogul Terrence Moolman, has announced its opposition to Media24’s sale of its distribution business, On the Dot, to Novus Holdings. The transaction, valued at R45 million ($2.5 million), is pending approval from the Competition Commission.

Caxton’s opposition, disclosed in a recent update, cites concerns over the potential creation of an anti-competitive media landscape. The company argues that the deal, approved by Media24’s board, including Naspers’ Koos Bekker, could give Novus Holdings undue control over distribution channels, potentially harming competition and consumers.

Potential impact on print media and jobs

Paul Jenkins, chair of Caxton, criticized the potential closure of several of Caxton’s well-established print editions, including Beeld, Rapport, City Press, and the Daily Sun. “The spin of Media24’s press release seeks to disguise the devastating effect which could result in around 400 job losses and other impacts that Media24 newspaper closures will have on news reporting in South Africa,” Jenkins said.

He also noted that Novus Holdings prints all of Media24’s newspapers, indicating that the acquisition could be seen as a move towards vertical integration. Jenkins expressed concern that Novus could prioritize Media24 publications over competitors, potentially stifling the free flow of information.

Caxton’s position in the media industry under Terrence Moolman

Founded in 1980 by Terrence Moolman and Noel Coburn, Caxton has grown to become a leading South African publisher, printer, and packaging manufacturer. The company manages 88 newspapers and 15 magazines and offers various printing and packaging solutions.

Moolman, the CEO and co-founder, holds a 47.2-percent stake in Caxton, making him the largest shareholder and one of the wealthiest investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). His investment portfolio, worth approximately $100 million, showcases his significant influence in the publishing industry in Southern Africa.

The opposition from Caxton sets the stage for a significant regulatory battle over the future of South Africa’s print media landscape.

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