Growing the Mail & Guardian

Mail & Guardian Media chief executive Trevor Ncube on Wednesday told staff that the company is exploring a number of investment opportunities. This follows speculation in the media that M&G Media will merge with Moneyweb, the listed radio and internet media group.

M&G Media publishes the weekly M&G and The Teacher newspapers, the M&G Online website and Earthyear magazine. Ncube informed the editorial and sales staff on Wednesday morning about the company’s efforts to expand.

“M&G Media is engaged in talks with a number of parties in respect of expansion to enhance our earnings. We are a weekly newspaper with huge overheads and we are looking for opportunities to secure this company, to expand it and to let it grow.

“Discussions are prompted by the need to roll out certain projects aggressively in the new year in order to build some critical mass. I hope you can respect the fact that we cannot disclose any information about the nature of these talks, because we do not want to affect the negotiations,” said Ncube.

Business Day reported on Wednesday that talks between Moneyweb and the M&G were believed to be in an “advanced stage”.

Moneyweb is a public integrated media company focusing on producing investment information. About half of the company’s revenues are generated by internet properties. The company is also involved in radio and print and is based in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Moneyweb CEO Edwin Jay could not comment on the assumption made by Business Day that a merger with the M&G is under way.

“I am bound by law and cannot say anything,” he told M&G Online.

“We are looking for investments into media related assets in South Africa and neighbouring countries, which would comprise radio assets, printing presses and distribution networks, in order to provide a more diverse revenue base.

“I see the M&G as a regional player. We can use the skills and opportunities present in South Africa to take [the] M&G abroad,” he said.

“We would obviously be looking for companies that provide synergies with our own in order to achieve cost of scale benefits, and hence improve our own margins,” he told the staff.

“This company it is destined for exciting times,” he added.

He said there will be more detailed information about the outcome of the negotiations by the end of December.

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