Utusan Malaysia, Kosmo sold to Media Prima’s main shareholder

Utusan Malaysia, Kosma sold to Media Prima’s main shareholder

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7): Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd, a company linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, is reported to be taking up a 70% stake in the firm that holds the permit for the publication of two Malay language newspapers, namely Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo.

Aurora Mulia has been in the news of late for its purchase of shares in another media company, Media Prima Bhd. It is the biggest shareholder in the integrated media company, with a 31.22% stake as of Sept 23.

Bernama quoted a statement by Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd today which said the company will dispose of 70% of its equity interest in wholly-owned Dilof Sdn Bhd to Aurora Mulia, to ensure continuity of Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo.

“This is to ensure that (the indelible mark of) the 80-year-old Utusan Malaysia is not buried and the publication of the 15-year old Kosmo continues,” Utusan Melayu was quoted as saying.

Utusan Melayu, in which Syed Mokhtar is also a shareholder, is facing cashflow problems and a financial injection in Dilof from Aurora Mulia would ensure the continued publication of both newspapers, the statement said.

Aurora Mulia was chosen as it is the major shareholder of Media Prima, it added.

"The investment will also see the consolidation of support departments such as printing, distribution and advertising for the publication of several major newspaper brands in the country,” Bernama quoted Utusan Melayu as saying.

Media Prima publishes three newspapers, namely News Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. It also operates six free-to-air television channels and four radio stations, and is a leading player in outdoor advertising.