O'Reilly Extends South African Empire With Clear Channel Purchase

22 January 2008

DUBLIN: Sir Anthony O'Reilly, chairman/ceo and controlling shareholder of Independent News & Media (pictured), has extended the group's African interests with the outright purchase of the continent's largest outdoor advertising company, Clear Channel Independent.

IN&M, which already owned 50% of Johannesburg-based CCI's stock, acquired the remainder for €86.6 million ($126.57m; £64.81m).
Expectations for the company are bullish. Not only is the 'Rainbow Nation' enjoying an extensive advertising boom, it also expects to ride the crest of the wave created by the soccer World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2010.
Says O'Reilly: "Our strong confidence in, and investment in media in South Africa - which originally dates back to 1994 - has delivered annual compound growth in profits in excess of 19% and has created enormous value for all of our shareholders."
O'Reilly's media portfolio spreads across Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom – the jewels in its crown being the prestigeous but lossmaking UK newspaper duo, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.

They have been described as "vanity projects" by IN&M's second largest shareholder and fellow-billionaire, Denis O'Brien.

Data sourced from GuardianUnlimited (UK); additional content by WARC staff