KUALA LUMPUR — Media Prima Bhd saw 123.02 million shares — equivalent to 11.09% of the group’s issued capital of 1.11 billion shares — crossed off-market yesterday.
According to Bloomberg data, the shares were transacted in one block, worth a total of RM73.81 million.
The transaction was carried out at 60 sen a share, a premium of 23.71% to Monday’s closing price of 48.5 sen. The parties involved in the transaction were not immediately known.
Over the past 12 months, the stock has been trading between 32.5 sen and 60 sen. Year to date, Media Prima shares have risen by 41%.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which emerged as a substantial shareholder of Media Prima in April 2017, has been seen increasing continuously its stake in the group since then. The share acquisitions were done through Morgan Stanley & Co LLC.
Presently, Mitsubishi UFJ is the single largest shareholder of Media Prima with 42.29 million shares or a 12.84% stake in the group. However, it is not known if Mitsubishi UFJ is the ultimate shareholder or is holding the shares on behalf of a client.
Other substantial shareholders of Media Prima include the Employees Provident Fund, Gabungan Kesturi Sdn Bhd and Altima Inc, with shareholdings of 11.92%, 11.09% and 7.96% respectively.
Altima is owned by Umno, while Gabungan Kesturi is a wholly-owned unit of Amanah Raya Bhd, which in turn is 100% owned by Minister of Finance Inc. Gabungan Kesturi was previously said to be an investment arm of Umno.
Meanwhile, London-based investment management firm Edgbaston Investment Partners LLP has also emerged as a substantial shareholder of Media Prima.
It is now the fifth-largest single shareholder of the group, holding a 5.38% stake as of June 28.
Media Prima, the country’s biggest media group, publishes three newspapers and operates four free-to-air television channels as well as four radio stations. The group has turned to the digital segment for higher contributions to mitigate a declining revenue from traditional media platforms, and is also a leading player in outdoor advertising.
For the first financial quarter ended March 31, 2019, the group saw its net loss widen to RM40.41 million, from RM21.83 million for the same period last year, as it continued to record declining advertising expenditure and newspaper sales.
Quarterly revenue declined 14.81% to RM239.1 million from RM280.67 million as the group registered lower revenue across all but its home-shopping segment.
On Monday, Datuk Syed Hussian Syed Junid, who is the group chairman of Western Digital Sdn Bhd, took over as the group chairman of Media Prima.
He replaces Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad whose tenure ended on June 30.