Redberry denies ‘Insider’ takeover but…
TUE 2013-MAY-14 @ MYT 19:03:03 PM
Malay Mail publisher Redberry Sdn Bhd is not taking over Malaysian Insider, according to KiniBiz, the business news site of Malaysiakini. Redberry owner Siew Ka Wei told KiniBiz’s Jose Barrock: “Redberry is not buying Malaysian Insider, and you can quote me on that.”
News of a Redberry-Insider deal broke three weeks ago at FZ.com, the online stablemate of the Edge, both of which are owned by tycoon Tong Kooi Ong. FZ later changed its story in the face of a denial by the Insider, but said Redberry was moving to take over Insider staff after the elections, rather than buying up the property.
Edge publisher Tong has long had an interest in media, having merged the Edge with The Sun for a spell before Sun owner Vincent Tan took it back. Tong was also a major backer of the Nut Graph web site.
Redberry’s Siew is also said to been on expanding his media holdings, after having bought over the Malay Mail, and a short-lived deal to handle Bernama TV. It also publishes the Malaysian Reserve, and has holdings in outdoor advertising, from which it derives most of its revenue.
KiniBiz quote an anonymous market-watcher as saying that “there is surely something brewing” despite Siew’s denial of the Insider deal. “The rumour is just too strong, he may take control in some other manner.”
Company records quoted by KiniBiz showed that the Insider had current assets of RM186,728, RM2.67 million in short term debt, and negative reserves of almost RM2.5 million.
Redberry’s parent company, chemicals firm Ancom lost RM15.45 million on a revenue of RM1.51 billion in the nine months of the financial year, KiniBiz said.