By Vijay Narayan for FijiVillage
The announcement has just been made by News Limited after it reached an agreement to sell Pacific Publications Fiji Limited, the parent company of the publisher of the Fiji Times.
News Limited said the sale is subject to final regulatory approval in Fiji with the expected closing date for the sale on 22nd September.
The Australian company said the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Motibhai and Company is Mahendra Patel, who has previously served on the board of the Fiji Times as a non-executive director.
News Limited's Chairman and Chief Executive John Hartigan (pictured above at left) said the sale to Motibhai represents the best possible outcome for the staff, advertisers and readers.
Hartigan said they are reluctant sellers of the Fiji Times but he is delighted that they have been able to find a buyer who will take over the business as a going concern, respect its heritage and invest in its future.
Meanwhile Mahendra Patel said this purchase expresses their confidence in the future of Fiji. Patel said they will ensure that Fiji Times will operate as an independent unit within the Motibhai Group.
He said Fiji Times will be taken to a new level as they progress.
Patel also said that over the recent past the Fiji Times Group has had ownership changes from Wilke Group to Herald Sun and then to News Limited. He said it is now in the hands of Motibhai Group.
Patel said in each instance the change has been seamless and they will ensure the same happens this time.
He said Motibhai Group always recognizes that people are its greatest asset, and they believe that if you look after your people, they will look after the customers and the company.