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Publisher becomes 100% black-owned

IOL / 15 FEBRUARY 2018 - 19:00 / GIVEN MAJOLA

Durban - Sandile Zungu, the chairperson of Zungu Investments and also the publisher’s director, said Zungu Investments had increased its holding in Shuter & Shooter from 36% to 95%, with the balance of the shares being held by a number of families with historical ties with the company.

“We can proudly say that Shuter & Shooter is now 100% black-owned and a very sizeable publisher in the education space,” said Zungu.

Outgoing controlling shareholder representative Stuart Craib and Zungu Investments company chairperson Sandile Zungu with some of the books published by Shuter & Shooter, which became a 100% black-owned publisher with Zungu Investments increasing its stake on Wednesday. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

The transaction of the company, believed to be worth millions, was announced on Wednesday in Pietermaritzburg. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Zungu said he was pleased to “inherit by buying for value” the publisher, which was a strong brand in the education space.

“It has got household name titles and almost a century’s history that had been very well managed by a competent management team.

“It espouses values and principles that have been passed on from generation to generation in the Craib family who we are buying from. It means even more for Zungu Investments to be invested so significantly in a company that is involved in education.

“Madiba once said education is the best weapon you can use to change people’s fortunes, and we subscribe to the principle that investing in education means we can best contribute towards the upliftment of our society and its people. Education is one of our core pillars of investments as Zungu Investments company.”

Zungu said the company’s next step was to go out to the market to make it known that they are a company to support.

“We have been in business for almost a century and heeded a call for greater involvement by black people in the economy, putting our spoons where our mouth is,and we are confident we will get the support we richly deserve.”

The new leadership said it would strengthen relationships with stakeholders that include the national and provincial education departments, be visible in schools in which their products are used by pupils, and be at the forefront with innovation in the education sector.

Zungu said he had got involved with the publisher as he had known the outgoing controlling shareholder representative, Stuart Craib, almost 20 years.

“I was already looking into buying into the company in 1997, while the opportunities were not available. I had a relationship with Umafrika, a title owned by the Catholic Church.

“The relationship took us to the next level, allowing us to get invested in Shuter & Shooter.

“We owned the 36%, which has worked exceptionally well for us year after year and has seen the company grow from strength to strength.

“When the opportunity came for us to increase our shareholding, we grabbed it with both hands.”

Zungu said there were conditions that were part of the transaction.

“We are expected to look after the people, for which we had no alternative, because they have been good. We would then build into the future with them.

“The other expectation is that the Craib family is selling a baby they have had for long and want to ensure they will leave it in the hands of people who will value it and not see it as just another investment where they can make or lose money, but will grow it well into the future.”

Stuart Craib said that while the publisher had grown with them and they had grown with it, now was time to move to the next level.

“We are fortunate to have had a long-term relationship with Sandile Zungu which has grown over the years. We are very confident he is the right partner to take it forward,” said Craib.

“Textbook education in South Africa tends to be dominated by overseas-based publishers. I think now is the chance that Shuters can become pre-eminent, even though it might not be the biggest at the moment.

“With its 100% black shareholding, we are very confident it has a great future.”



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