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Fiji Government Sells Majority Interest In Paper

Fiji Government Sells Majority Interest In Paper

SUVA (Fijilive/Pacific Media Watch): Belmont Trading Ltd, new owner of the Fiji Daily Post, says there will be no job losses when it takes over over the newspaper.

The Fiji cabinet agreed in its March 1 meeting to sell 5 percent of its shares to Belmont on condition that there would be no compulsory redundancy of workers.

Belmont had earlier purchased 46 percent of Daily Post shares, which were previously owned by Colonial and Unit Trust of Fiji.

The recent acquisition gave the company 53 percent, making it the majority shareholder and controlling owner.

The Fiji government now holds 41 percent while the remaining six per cent belong to minor shareholders.

The other two conditions were that Belmont would gradually acquire the remaining government shares over a five-year period and that it only purchase five percent to begin with.

When asked about the amount agreed, ministry chief executive officer Parmesh Chand refused to comment but stated that the new ownership would be beneficial for the Daily Post.

Government had invited public tenders for the sale of its shares in January and had received four expressions of interest, from C J Patel, Fiji SUN, Vinod Patel and Belmont Trading Ltd.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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