Johncom proposes name change to Avusa

South African media group Johnnic Communications (Johncom) on Tuesday announced a proposed change of name to Avusa, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Johncom said the name change to Avusa—which means to rouse feelings, to revive and evokes action—was relevant because of the ongoing confusion between the company and Johnnic Holdings.

In an announcement, the media group explained that in April 2004, Johncom entered into a licensing agreement with Johnnic Holdings Limited (“Johnnic”) for the use of the Johnnic/Johncom trademark.

By the end of the year, Johnnic announced that it planned to unbundle to its shareholders all of its shareholding in Johncom, whereafter Johnnic identified the hotels and gaming sector as its new area of focus. Johncom’s core strategy remained media and entertainment. The unbundling of Johncom from Johnnic took effect on March 24 2005.

Although Johnnic and Johncom have pursued different strategic directions, the similarity in their names has resulted in ongoing confusion between the two companies.

The new name will help identify the two different companies.

Earlier this year, Johncom’s board of directors also announced that it was part of its strategy to introduce broad-based black economic empowerment ownership through separating the businesses of Johncom.

This will be done through separating the businesses of Johncom into two listed entities by the formation of a new wholly owned subsidiary that will acquire and hold 100% of all Johncom’s directly held operating media and entertainment assets (“OpCo”). Once OpCo has been established, it is the board’s intention to cede the name Avusa Limited to OpCo.

“We’ve concluded an extensive process to find a name that would encapsulate our position as South Africa’s leading media and entertainment company and our business interests in West and East Africa. The name Avusa dynamically reflects our profile and is an embodiment of our inspiring strategy for future growth,” said CEO of Johncom Prakash Desai.

The name Avusa dynamically reflects the company’s positioning as a media and entertainment market leader in both South Africa and Africa with a credible and transparent strategy for future growth.

The visual aspects of Avusa Limited’s corporate identity and the company’s logo will be unveiled once the change of name is unconditional.—I-Net Bridge

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