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Independent News and Media given lifeline

Local consortium Sekunjalo Group buys Independent News & Media.

Newspapers. Picture: Lindiwe Mlandu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Irish publishing group Independent News & Media's South African business has been given a lifeline after a local consortium bought the newspaper group for R2 billion.

INM is the country's largest English language newspaper group and owns publications like The Star, Pretoria News and The Cape Times.

The sale was driven by the media groups' high debts.

The consortium was being led by Iqbal Survé who said the buyers were committed to investing in the print media industry.

"I think that Independent News & Media is a very important asset."

He also said it was a great business with good titles, great online potential and good people that had to be brought back home to South Africa.

Survé's Sekunjalo Group is a major shareholder in the consortium.

Other shareholders in the consortium include trade unions and community groupings, but Survé would not provide a detailed breakdown.

Sekunjalo Group is a collation of companies, investments and funds with interests in defence, energy, minerals, oil and telecoms.

Survé is the group's founder and is well known in South Africa for his youth charities.