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Selling off the Star? The plot thickens…

Sat 2013-May-18 @ MYT 04:09:19 am

MEDIA GRAPEVINE

Remainders of tthe day: free election campaign copies of the Star

Remainders of tthe day: free election campaign copies of the Star

More talk is going on about what might be going on behind the scenes at The Star, following the chairman’s denial on Wednesday of plans for a management buyout of the public-listed publishing company, Star Publications.

Fong Chan Onn, the chairman, described Internet rumours of a buyout as “malicious” and politically-motivated, denying that there were any such plans.

Selling the paper that sold out?

Sucking up to power: the paper that sold out

Sucking up to power

The chairman is a former vice-president of the MCA, which is the majority shareholder in the company, with a 42% stake: at the current market price of about RM2.50, the investment has a market value of about RM783mil, a sharp decline from the RM1.28bln that the party paid to its investment arm Huaren Holdings in October 2010.

His denial was promptly flagged by some Star journalists as a hint of something brewing, and that the rumours might be true (in the way of the cynical adage of journalists that “it’s not true until it’s been denied”).

To further intensify speculation, an informant says that Fong and several management people are spending the weekend in Hong Kong, and suggests that this might be related to plans for the company’s future.

Among those said to be in Hong Kong are both Fong and his controversial deputy executive chairman, advertising tycoon Vincent Lee, who effectively is the boss of the company.

It was not known if group chief editor Wong Chun Wai was among them. However, Vincent’s pal Brian Martin, who is in charge of Star Metro, was said to be in the group, which possibly included some politicians and business associates.

Who owns the Star?

Substantial shareholders No of shares Percentage Post buy-back
MCA 313,315,760 42.43% 47.14%
Amanah Saham 73,020,200 9.89% 10.99%
EPF 72,337,900 9.80% 10.88%
Institutional and unit trusts 42,034,000 5.70%
Directors’ holdings
Kamal M Hashim & family 1,000,000 0.13%
Vincent Lee 697,300 0.09%
Linda Ngiam and family 893,800 0.12%
Wong Chun Wai 10,000

Wednesday May 22 is the Star’s annual shareholders’ meeting. Shareholders will be asked to approve a motion to permit the company to buy back up to 10% of its shares. Shrinking the number of shares on float would slightly increase the proportional size of each substantial shareholder’s stake, as shown above.

SEE ALSO

» What now for the Star, caught between its readers and politician owners?
» DAP’s advantage: freer Chinese newspapers
» Hypocrisy of the Star – Insider editorial
» Fearmongering by the Star
» Boycott BN’s big four papers, says Ambiga
» Utusan back to whipping up racial fears
» Remains of the day: just throwing money around
 

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3 Comments
  1. DOPE permalink
    Sat 2013-May-18 @ MYT 06:55:51 am 06:55

    People buy The Star by default, ie there is no other national English Daily (don’t even mention the other one), not for political news but for news on crime (unfortunately), classified ads, Kuali and the like.

  2. asusay permalink
    Sat 2013-May-18 @ MYT 11:56:31 am 11:56

    it takes me only 10 minutes to read The Star but 45 minutes to read The Sun.

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