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Siew trying to sell Malay Mail to MUI?

Thu 2011-Nov-24 @ +08 14:03:16 pm

Round Two, continued

The Star reports today that Redberry’s owners are trying to sell the Malay Mail to property conglomerate MUI, owned by tycoon Khoo Kay Peng.

Another businessman, motor importer Syed Azman Ibrahim, was also being wooed, according to the Star.

MUI was a high-flying property and industrial conglomerate of the 1970s-80s and its owner, Tan Sri Khoo, has long had an interest in newspapers and mass media. He had a stake in the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and continues to sit on its board. The Post is owned by “sugar king” Robert Kuok’s family and run by his daughter.

The Malay Mail was bought by the outdoor advertising group Redberry owned by Siew Ka Wah and Mohd Al-Amin Majid, who have close ties with Umno president Najib Tun Razak.

The change in ownership came a year after the paper was bought by Blue Inc, another outdoor advertising company, with ties to the New Straits Times Press group, and Media Prima, then Umno’s proxy owner of commercial television, now also the owner of NSTP group.

Redberry took over after a year, lumping in the Mail together with Malaysian Reserve and Bernama TV advertising sales, and relaunched the company as a media conglomerate.

The Malay Mail has suspended publication while preparing to relaunch itself as a national morning newspaper in January under its new executive editor Terence Fernandez, who left The Sun earlier this year.

Another Sun alumni, Philip Karuppiah, is chief executive officer.

The Star report today

MUI eyeing Redberry?

Officials of the MUI group have studied the investment proposition

PETALING JAYA: Businessman Datuk Siew Ka Wei and partner Datuk Mohamad Al-Amin Abdul Majid are in talks with Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) to interest the group in investing in the Redberry Media Group, sources close to Redberry said.

“Talks have started with MUI officials to divest a stake in their media assets, namely tabloid The Malay Mail, including plans for making it an evening paper,” said one source. The Redberry group also manages business daily The Malaysian Reserve.

Siew could not be reached by StarBiz for comments on the matter.

Khoo, who is MUI group chairman and chief executive, is said to be keen on the project due to his experience in the print media.

The sources added that MUI group officials have studied the investment proposition and have yet to come to a decision.

The sources also said the MUI group’s patriarch Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng had expressed keenness on the project probably due to his experience in print media, having once been an investor in the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Khoo became a non-executive director of SCMP in 1994 and is still on the board.

SCMP is an English language Hong Kong newspaper, published by the SCMP group with a circulation of 104,000. This circulation has remained relatively constant since 2000.

Sources also said that there have been suggestions to Khoo to try to get the interest of billionaire Robert Kuok to come in as an investor in Redberry.

This isn’t surprising, considering Kuok’s flagship company, the Kerry group, is already a majority shareholder of SCMP with a 69.58% stake. The managing director of SMPC is Kuok’s daughter, Kuok Hui Kwong.

Meanwhile, The Malay Mail, which went on hiatus on Nov 15, will return as a morning national newspaper in January under an ambitious makeover to possibly include content from the SCMP and the Malaysiakini news portal.

Redberry is controlled by Siew and Mohamad Al-Amin who are believed to be close to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Siew is the group managing director and chief operating officer of Ancom Bhd, in which he has a direct and indirect interest of some 16%. Ancom wholly owns the Redberry group.

Siew is also the group managing director of Nylex Malaysia Bhd.

It had been reported that Siew and Mohamad Al-Amin were in talks with at least three parties, including Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, the man dubbed as Malaysia’s “AP King”, to divest a stake in their media assets.

  1. weehobbit permalink
    Thu 2011-Nov-24 @ +08 15:57:32 pm 15:57

    This must be some kind of sick joke going the round! ha ha ha.

  2. Dave permalink
    Fri 2011-Nov-25 @ +08 00:41:17 am 00:41

    Pity the MM. I remember reading it when i was a kid.

    Thats what happens when you have two bad editors. One who turned it into a trash tabloid, and the other who tried to copycat with a free paper model. But there can only be one Sun in the sky…

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