By Vijay Narayan for Fiji Village
Motibhai Group of Companies officially owns the Fiji Times newspaper as of today after transfer documents were signed by previous owners, Australia's News Limited and the Motibhai Group this morning.
The Chairman of the Motibhai Group, Mahendra Patel who has served on the Fiji Times Limited board for 35 years said it is a historic day for their company and Motibhai’s together with the Fiji Times will become a formidable force.
With the takeover confirmed today, Patel has also revealed that Fiji Times now has a new Publisher and Managing Director.
The new Publisher is Dallas Swinstead who was a former Executive Head and General Manager of Fiji Times in the 1970's and also a former Editor of Melbourne Sunday Press.
Patel also confirmed that after the transfer documents were signed earlier today, he and the CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan visited the staff of the newspaper company.
When asked on whether any immediate staff or editorial changes will be made, Patel said the new Publisher and Managing Director who took up office today will make the necessary decisions.
Fijivillage also questioned Patel on whether Fiji Times will address and make changes to earlier concerns raised by the government that even the people sitting in the ministerial and Prime Minister’s offices are not acknowledged as the position holders in the daily reports.
Patel only said that they will embrace change and things will evolve.
He said they will definitely look at new ways to run the business. Patel said he has the full support of the board of Motibhai Group of Companies and family members and they are committed to the country.
Editor's Note: See Victor Lal's story on Mac Patel's involvement in the Carroll Report