Three finalist INMA nominations for Independent

Published, 14 March 2017 by Staff Reporter , Cape Times. 

The Sekunjalo Group congratulated Independent Media on its nomination as a finalist in three categories at this year’s International News Media Association’s (INMA) Global Media awards – Best Launch of a Brand or Product to Create an Audience Segment in the local/regional category; Best Public Relations or Community Service Campaign; and Best Use of Video in the global/national category.

The awards take place at the conclusion of the 87th annual INMA conference in New York in May.

Since Sekunjalo’s acquisition of Independent Media in 2013, Independent Media has been the only African media company to be nominated for INMA’s Global Media awards for three consecutive years.

The awards received 655 entries from 196 media companies in 36 countries.

Participants include newspaper media, magazine media, digital media, television media and radio media.

Before the acquisition of Independent Media by the Sekunjalo-led consortium in 2013, the company lacked significant infrastructure to compete in the rapidly evolving media environment. Over the past two years, Sekunjalo invested significantly in technology, innovation and skills training and development, integral to the redesign of the company. “These nominations and the ongoing recognition by the international media community are direct consequences of the significant investment that Sekunjalo has made in Independent Media over the past two years”, said Dr Survé.

Independent Media’s Home Property magazine in KwaZulu-Natal was nominated in the category Best Launch of a Brand or Product to create an Audience Segment in the local/regional category.

“This nomination is particularly significant because it emphasises the success of our commercial strategy in KwaZulu-Natal. Amid considerable investment by our competitors to undermine our home and property leadership in the region, we have emerged successful with this great new value-added product for both our clients and readers,” said Dr Survé.

Independent Media’s national campaign to highlight awareness about racism, Racism Stops With Me, was nominated in the category Best Public Relations or Community Service Campaign in the Global/National category.

This campaign was launched in January last year when Dr Survé, as the executive chairman of Independent Media, recognised the need for the media to play a constructive role in highlighting South Africa’s most pressing issues and allowing for healthy debate across all sectors. He called on all stakeholders – readers, commercial partners, advertisers, investors, staff and society in general – to work together to confront the reality of racism. International media houses have expressed keen interest in collaborating with Independent Media on similar campaigns, acknowledging that racism is an international concern.

The national #DontLookAway campaign, which ran during the 16 days of Activism in Support of No Violence Against Women and Children, was nominated in the category Best Use of Video in the global/national category.

This campaign formed part of Independent Media’s Social Change programme to mobilise readers and advertisers to become aware of the scourge of violence against women and children.

“We are unashamedly non-racist, non-sexist and purpose-driven. By publicising the horrific statistics related to women and child abuse, we are playing our part in drawing attention to gender violence in our country,” added Dr Survé.

Competition entries were judged in February by an international panel of 44 executives from 17 countries.

INMA has run an annual competition rewarding excellence in media since 1937. This year’s Global Media awards focused on six activities crucial to success:

* Energising brands.

* Creating new products.

* Growing, engaging and monetising audiences.

* Growing advertising revenue.

* Developing customer insights.

* Instilling innovation.

Read full article here.

AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY TO SUE TIMES GROUP FOR R500 MILLION

Published, 09 March 2017 by ANA Reporter, Business Report. 

Johannesburg – The African News Agency on Thursday said it will take legal action against Times Media Group if the rival company fails to “retract defamatory statements” it made about the news wire.

“On instructions of African News Agency (ANA), our attorneys, Webber Wentzel, sent letters of demand to Times Media Group, Ann Crotty, Ray Hartley, Business Day and Business Live on 8th of March 2017 demanding that they retract defamatory statements made about ANA in an article, ‘Breaking the News’, published on 23 February 2017,” said Grant Fredericks, Chief Executive Officer of ANA.

He said the respondents were given three days to retract the defamatory article, but had instead “released a further statement repeating the original defamatory article”.

Fredericks said Ann Crotty and Times Media Group’s Financial Mail had in their most recent statement misinformed the public by stating that they had contacted ANA.

“We wish to make it clear that at no stage has any reporter from the Financial Mail, Business Day or Business Live contacted ANA, its Chief Executive or President regarding the claims made in their article,” said Fredericks.

“Furthermore, no other ANA staff member was contacted by the Financial Mail or Ann Crotty regarding the claims published in their original article. In this regard, Ann Crotty, the Financial Mail and Business Live chose to ignore ethical journalistic practice by neglecting to verify the validity of any of their claims.”

Fredericks said ANA is a global content syndication service provider with video, text and pictures, using world-class technology which has attracted international investors, both for its content syndication service, and its soon-to-be-launched social media platforms. These investors are partners and committed to ANA’s growth strategy within South Africa and the rest of the world. ANA further plans to extend its footprint into various other locations, including Boston, New York, San Francisco, London, Paris and Mumbai.

“The defamatory article published by Ann Crotty and the Financial Mail has resulted in significant reputational damage to ANA, its international investors and partners, including its 40-plus media partners globally. Should Ann Crotty, the Financial Mail, Business Live, Business Day or any other reporter of Times Media Group have contacted ANA, we would gladly have provided them with the correct information.”

Fredericks said: “ANA has set aside a substantial sum to litigate against Times Media Group and Tiso Blackstar, to claim an amount of R500 million in damages suffered.

“ANA is reluctant, but feels compelled to take legal action against Times Media Group in the South African and UK courts and, after having carefully considered the legal issues, ANA is confident that it will be successful in holding them to account for publishing false and defamatory statements.”

Fredericks further said that through the article, ANA had been dragged into the alleged ongoing smear campaign by journalists, including former journalists of Independent Media, against Independent Media, Sekunjalo and Dr Iqbal Survé.

 

Read full article here.

SEKUNJALO DR SURVÉ JOINS FORCES WITH DUTCH INVESTOR

Published, 08 March 2017 by Adri Senekel De Wet, Business Report at 06h29am.

Cape Town – Dr Iqbal Survé, the executive chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, and technology entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn, owner of Ramphastos Investments, on Tuesday announced a joint investment in a South African gold reclamation project.

The investment will see significant amounts of gold being reclaimed from mining dumps using state-of-the-art technology, resulting in job creation and foreign currency earnings for the South African economy.

Boekhoorn’s holding in Ramphastos Investments comprises a wide array of business interests ranging from cutting edge technology, including voice; biometrics; digital antennas; decompostable coffee cups and aviation glass to private equity and real estate.

His most prized real estate asset is the hi-tech Campus Eindhoven, often dubbed the most intelligent square mile in the Netherlands.

Boekhoorn has a long track record of exceptional returns, making him one of the wealthiest people in the Netherlands.

“Partnering with Dr Iqbal Survé, a well-respected and highly reputable industrialist, enables us to bring novel technology to the country, while capitalising on Dr Survé’s knowledge and network,” said Boekhoorn.

Survé, a billionaire philanthropist, has invested in several technology companies. He is also the executive chairman of Independent Media

Survé said he expected to report more joint investments with Boekhoorn in the months to come. Both entrepreneurs are committed towards a long-term partnership with joint teams already vetting follow-on transactions.

Survé said Boekhoorn’s focus on sustainable, impact projects was aligned with some of the objectives of the Sekunjalo Impact Fund, which was launched on February 9.

Two key areas of the Impact Fund are sustainability as well as technologies.

Premier’s historic listing on main JSE

Published, 02 March 2017 by Quinton Mtyala, Cape Times at 10h59pm.

Almost 18 years after Premier Food and Fishing was taken over by the Sekunjalo Group, the company marked a milestone when it listed on the main bourse of the JSE yesterday morning.

At a function where the listing was witnessed via live streaming at the Mount Nelson Hotel, former company spokesperson and now executive editor for Independent Media’s business titles Adri Senekal said Premier was truly a broad-based black empowerment business.

Independent Media’s chief of staff Zenariah Barends, who had also worked at Premier, said she was emotional considering how far the company had progressed.

Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said the listing was “a big occasion. To list a company on the main board (of the JSE), is not easy”.

He credited Premier Food and Fishing’s staff for their dedication, saying other fishing companies had experienced disasters due to negligence.

Survé said the safety of crew manning its boats was their first priority, and it is for this reason that Premier Food and Fishing had not suffered a disasters since 1999.

“We’ve told the crews that they should not go out when the seas are rough,” he said, adding that the work of those on the trawlers was tough, and often crews would be at sea for up to a month.

Survé said one of the first things he did when Sekunjalo took control of Premier was to stop the practice of overfishing which had become an industry standard. “We had to respect the laws of the country.

Instead, the company focused on aqua-culture, and Survé said this now made up a significant chunk of revenue.

Survé said he was also proud that under his stewardship, Premier Food and Fishing had become an ethical company, while its competitors had lied about their empowerment credentials. “We could have been a bigger company (had we been unethical),” said Survé.

Sekunjalo was likely to list more of its more than 200 subsidiaries within the next two years.

Survé said Sekunjalo did not owe have any long-term borrowing with banks, and what it did borrow was for short-term cash flow.

“We’ve not taken out any dividend. I still stay in the same house I’ve been living in for the past two decades,” he said.

Read the full article here.

PREMIER FOOD AND FISHING IS FIRST 2017 LISTING

Published, 02 March 2017 by , Business Report Online at 11h01am.

Premier Food and Fishing has become the first company to list on the JSE this year, making its debut under the share code PFF.

The company listed on the Farming, Fishing and Plantations sector of the JSE’s Main Board.

Premier Food and Fishing owns one of the country’s largest black-owned fishing companies, Premier Fishing SA, which has a 65 year track record.

The company, a subsidiary of African Empowerment Equity Investments (AEEI) says its much anticipated listing on the local bourse has been oversubscribed.

The company last week said a private placement ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed four times, following a successful two-week road show in anticipation of resuming trading on the JSE next week.

The company, in existence since 1952, was previously called Sekunjalo Industrial Holdings. It was to privately 117 million shares.

It is listing to gain access to capital to grow its business organically and through future acquisitions. It also wants to give employees and members of communities in which it operates, as well as the general public an opportunity to acquire an equity stake.

Donna Nemer, director of Capital Markets at the JSE, says the exchange is pleased to welcome Premier Food and Fishing.

Read also: Premier Foods oversubscribed

Premier Food and Fishing joins six companies that are listed in the Farming, Fishing and Plantations sector of the JSE, which currently has a market capitalisation of R38.29 billion.

CEO Samier Saban, Premier Food CEO, says “listing will provide the company with access to capital in order to grow the business both organically and by way of future acquisitions. Being listed on the JSE will further allow us to give both our employees, as well as the members of the communities in which we operate and also the general public, an opportunity to acquire equity in the company and thereby a liquid, tradeable asset within a regulated environment.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

An astute giant has fallen

Published, 26 February 2017 by , Independent Media at 05:56pm.

Cape Town – South Africa stands on the shoulders of giants, those brave enough to use whatever means necessary to fight the former apartheid government.

One of those giants was lawyer and later High Court Judge Essa Moosa, who using his astute legal mind stood up in court for struggle activists, aligning himself with those who fought for freedom and those too poor to defend themselves in court.

His passing on Sunday, surrounded by those closest to him, is devastating. Even though he had been ill for some time.

Sekunjalo and Independent Media Executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé said on Sunday he was overcome with grief at Judge Moosa’s death.

“During the eighties we knew who to turn to in times of struggle, we knew that if the security police was hunting us, if activists went missing, if people were being held in detention without trial, that our struggle lawyer Essa Moosa would be there. He did not only provide legal counsel, but also gave some of himself to many of us.”

Dr Survé, said: “We do not only salute him for the work he did during the dark days of apartheid, but also for helping usher in a new, just South Africa. When I visited him last week, I thanked him on behalf of all South Africans and for his guidance to so many of us who fought for political and social justice. Our condolences to Judge Moosa’s family, We thank you sharing such a great man with us. Thank you for opening your home and hearts to us for so many decades. ”

Many journalists at Independent Media came across Judge Moosa at some point of their careers. They were exposed to his fairness and astuteness, he was a lawyer that older journalists will remember for his work under apartheid, for many others, as a judge who paved the way for justice in the country.

Independent Media expresses its sadness at Judge Moosa’s passing. He made an incredible impact on journalism and how legal journalism is covered and written about. Echoing Dr Survé, Independent Media says even though a giant has fallen, his passing makes us remember why he sacrificed so much, so that millions could have freedom.

Hamba Kahle struggle lawyer. Your contribution will be remembered by millions.

PREMIER FOODS OVERSUBSCRIBED

Published, 24 February 2017 by Kabelo Khumalo, Business Report at 07:45am.

Johannesburg – Premier Food and Fishing (PFF), a subsidiary of African Empowerment Equity Investments (AEEI) says its much anticipated listing on the local bourse has been oversubscribed.

The company said on Thursday that its initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed four times, following a successful two-week road show in anticipation of resuming trading on the JSE next week.

It will list on March 2 under the code PFF.

AEEI chief executive Khalid Abdulla said the company was pleased about the feedback it had received from the market.

“We are excited about the future prospects of listing PFF. The fact that the shares were heavily oversubscribed is a sign of confidence in our fishing business as well as our management team. We wish them well in taking the business to the next level,” Abdulla said.

The company, in existence since 1952, was previously called Sekunjalo Industrial Holdings. It was to privately 117 million shares.

Premier aims to list to gain access to capital to grow its business organically and through future acquisitions. It also wants to give employees and members of communities in which it operates, as well as the general public an opportunity to acquire an equity stake.

The group has said it is well positioned for growth over the next three years and “into the future”. “As one of the largest black fishing companies in South Africa and given that current legislation is likely to promote black participation and black industrial development in this sector, this should be beneficial for the growth in this area.”

The group intends distributing 30 percent of its annual free cash flow to shareholders.

Premier is a vertically integrated food and fishing company which specialises in the harvesting, processing and marketing of fish and fish-related products, as well as general food products. It employs more than 350 permanent and seasonal staff and its business includes factories, processing facilities and fishing vessels operating in three provinces. Its products range from rock lobster to octopus, squid, abalone, pilchards, hake, general food products and environmentally friendly agri-biotechnology products.

Full article found here

ANA raises R1bn foreign stake

Published, 17 February 2017 by ANA Reporter, Independent Media at 07:35am.

Johannesburg – African News Agency (ANA), the continent’s first content syndication service and social media platform for text, pictures, and videos, has raised $80 million (R1.04 billion) from China, the US and the Middle East.

With this investment, ANA has in total raised $165 million since its inception.

In 2015, the entity raised $30 million and, last year, $55 million.

The total placing has resulted in 15 percent of the shareholding now held by international investors, and 85 percent of shares belonging to the Sekunjalo Group.

ANA president Professor Arthur Mutambara said he was delighted at the third tranche of investment.

Confidence

Mutambara said the investment was a sign of confidence, firstly in an African company, but mostly in the technology platforms which led to ANA exceeding its first milestone three months ago of reaching one billion users.

He said he would use the capital to further the technology platforms and to integrate both business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer.

“Technology is the great equaliser. The ANA multimedia technology platform will revolutionise the way Africans communicate among themselves, rebrand the continent, and ignite economic development,” Mutambara said, adding that the capital would also enhance engagement in social media platforms such as Facebook and to ensure it became the global primary provider for the African content by 2020.

ANA is headquartered in South Africa with ownership structures in Mauritius and Switzerland for global expansion. It is also planning to set up commercial media bureaus in New York, London, Shanghai and Dubai, allowing it to continue penetrating global audiences, and furthering its strategy to becoming the go-to source for news, information and data about Africa.

Mutambara said ANA would make an announcement about a platform developed in Africa at the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban in May.

ANA chief executive Grant Fredericks said the agency had achieved its second strategic milestone, enabling technology-driven social media platforms for text, pictures and videos.

“This is an exciting future for ANA and technology in Africa as social media platforms are currently dominated by Facebook and others,” Fredericks said.

Read the full article here

It’s all systems go for Premier’s JSE listing

Published, 17 February 2017 by Joesph Booysen, Business Report at 08:03am

Cape Town – Premier Food and Fishing (PFF) is all set for its listing on the JSE following successful investor roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town this week.

The company is set to be listed next month with an estimated 117 million shares, representing 45 percent of PFF’s equity post listing valued at R526.5 million.

Group chief executive Khalid Abdulla said the company controlled 60 percent of the local rock lobster exports to the US and held 12 percent of the total west coast of supplies to the Far East.

He said the company was also home to the third-­largest pilchard allocated quota of 7percent.

“Our products are of very high quality and are highly regarded in America,” he said.

“As AEEI, the major shareholder, we have been very happy with our returns in this the food and fishing business.”

Integrated

Premier Fishing is the vertically integrated food and fishing division of the JSE-listed AEEI – African Equity Empowerment Investments – and is the largest black-owned and controlled fishing company in the South Africa.

It also owns an abalone aquaculture farm in Gansbaai, which Abdulla described as a high-margin, low-risk business with a 70 percent gross profit margin.

He said the farm produced 120 tons of cultured abalone a year and was running at 100 percent capacity.

He said over the past two years the company had invested millions of rand in the alternative energy sector at the farm.

Read also: Premier Foods and Fishing to list in March

Abdulla said the company was set to increase the supply of its much-sought-after abalone product to its overseas client base.

Samier Saban, the chief executive of Premier Fishing, said in an earlier interview this month that the abalone operation employed more than 100 people and, with further expansion, it would increase its workforce.

“The planned expansion, once completed, would also have alternative energy (solar) installed to support the additional energy required and place less pressure on the electricity grid, which would be enough to benefit the community of Gansbaai,” said Saban.

“We also support small-scale subsistence fishermen and run a corporate social investment (CSI) programme to develop communities within which we work.”

Saban said once the expansion was completed, the farm would be able to produce up to 320 tons of abalone over the next three years.

Read the full article here

Sekunjalo launches R500m impact fund

The Sekunjalo Investment Group is launching a R500 million impact fund to boost entrepreneurship, shore up renewable energy initiatives and support women-owned businesses.

Details of the wholly-owned Sekunjalo Impact Fund will be announced by Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Sekunjalo and Independent Media this afternoon, when he hosts the annual pre-State of the Nation address (Sona) lunch.

The luncheon event is traditionally attended by cabinet ministers, captains of industry, civil society and industry bodies.

International investors will be invited to join the fund, which is immediately seeded with R500m by Sekunjalo, and is projected to grow exponentially, and is expected to reach R2bn within a year of being launched.

Speaking ahead of the lunch event Dr Survé said that the fund will also invite local entities, including state funds like the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), to invest. The Sekunjalo Impact Fund is also investigating creating an impact bond, similar to an RSA bond.

“The fund will be run by a management team with social impact funding experience,” Dr Survé said.

The Sekunjalo Investment Group has historically been committed to entrepreneurial and community development which has social impact, and this will be reflected in the areas selected for investment. The following categories of economic activity will be earmarked during the next five years:

● Food and agriculture: Investing in subsistence farming through companies active in this arena;

● Climate Change and health: Climate change impacts poor people the most, the Fund will invest in mitigating climate change using tools like renewable energy.

So too will climate change have an impact on the health of people;

● Women-owned ventures because women often still battle to access funding;

● Black Entrepreneurs and SMME development; and

● Media and education – including films and books that foreground human rights and social inclusion.