Rembrandt to invest in e.tv

S. African firm may take 25% stake

JOHANNESBURG — Industrial group Rembrandt is poised to take a slice of e.tv, South Africa’s free-to-air commercial channel that is 20% owned by Time Warner.

Rembrandt, South Africa’s third largest company with main interests in tobacco, announced it had reached agreement in principle to invest in e.tv, but gave no further details.

Market speculation has been that the group will take a 25% equity stake, for 300 million rand ($46 million), in Sabido Investments, the vehicle that will house South African shareholders’ interest in e.tv.

The deal is subject to approval by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, the country’s audio-visual regulatory authority.

In December the IBA granted Midi, e.tv’s parent company, permission to create Sabido Investment as a new investment company for e.tv. This followed fi-nancial difficulties at the channel caused by minority shareholders being unable to come up with funding for their shares.

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