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first_img19 December 2007MIH Internet, a wholly owned subsidiary of South African media group Naspers, has made a £946-million (about R13.1-billion) offer to acquire London-listed Tradus, which operates online trading platforms and other related internet service websites in 12 mainly Eastern European countries.The acquisition would be the largest so far by Africa’s largest media company, which has to date been buying minority stakes in media and internet-related companies in emerging markets.Tradus, established as QXL Ricardo plc in 1997, operates auction websites in Eastern Europe under various brand names, and in Poland they operate automotive and real estate classified sites, a price comparison site and payment services system.“In its own strategy, Naspers has prioritised the internet sector for expansion. Success has been achieved in the sub-segments offering users communications, social networking and community platforms,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.“In pursuit of this strategy, Naspers today has various internet investments on the African continent, in China, Russia and India. With these investments, the Naspers Group has established a strong presence in the major emerging markets.”Naspers has identified Central and Eastern Europe as attractive emerging markets to invest in, and the acquisition of Tradus would consolidate the group’s position in Poland, where it is currently finalising the acquisition of a controlling stake in Gadu-Gadu, a company that operates an instant messaging service.“We are delighted that the Tradus Board intends unanimously to recommend our offer to its shareholders,” Naspers chief executive Cobus Stofberg said. “The operations of the Naspers Group and Tradus complement each other perfectly and significant advantages can be obtained by aligning Tradus’ businesses with Naspers’ other internet investments in Central and Eastern Europe.”Naspers’ other investments in emerging countries include a roughly one-third interest in Tencent, a leading internet services portal in China that operates an instant messaging client called QQ, and a similar stake in Mail.ru, which is developing into a leading e-mail portal in Russia.In India, meanwhile, the company is organically developing an internet business that focuses on the youth community, featuring a search engine customised to cater for local users and content.In South Africa, Naspers’ investments include Multichoice, which runs the DSTV satellite subscription service, the M-Net and Supersport television channels, internet service provider M-Web, newspaper and magazine publisher Media24, general consumer portal 24.com, e-retailer Kalahari.net and a 30% stake in local instant messaging service Mxit Lifestyle.“Apart from the investment in Tencent and Kalahari, other Naspers platforms have not yet generated transaction income,” the company said. “Our existing internet services rely on the generation of revenue mainly through advertising and value added communication services.”“The intention is that an investment in the Tradus transaction platform will allow the group to diversify its internet revenue streams to include transaction income.”The deal is subject to several conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals and approval by the companies’ shareholders.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dairy Farmers of America’s Dairy Marketing Service sent a letter to dairies in the Mideast this week announcing they will put a halt to marketing milk from independent producers. Their focus will instead turn solely to cooperative members.The move comes as a result of a saturated milk market and burdensome costs assessed only to co-op members, resulting in the cut of independent farms, according to DFA. Organic producers are exempt from the action.“The letters were sent to all DMS Mideast Dairy independent producers who serve the conventional market. Organic producers were not included in this action. This letter advised them of our intent to terminate the milk marketing arrangement with DMS Mideast producers effective at the end of November,” said Heather McCann, communications manager for Dairy Farmers of America. “They will have until Nov. 30 to procure another market or if they choose not to or are unable to, DFA will offer membership to those DMS producers.”Tensions are high within the dairy industry due to pressure on farms from multiple levels. The core challenge is that there is simply too much milk and not enough demand.“There is a lot of milk in the market, particularly in this part of the country. We have too much milk out there,” McCann said. “We are not seeing a commensurate increase in demand to take up that milk so all of that excess milk results in increased balancing costs, increased transportation costs and the premiums available to help pay producers are also reduced.”Here’s the letter DFA sent to independent producers:“As you are undoubtedly aware, our region has experienced unprecedented growth in our milk supply over the past several years. Currently, supply continues to grow at an overall rate of 2 percent per year, ahead of the national average, with increases of over 4 percent in some states. This has resulted in a supply-demand imbalance that has placed the entire milk marketing system in the eastern United States under severe stress. The costs incurred in balancing surplus milk have skyrocketed while premiums received from customers have fallen and consumer demand, particularly for fluid milk products, has softened appreciably. We expect these trends to continue through 2017 and well into 2018.“As an independent producer marketing your milk through Dairy Marketing Services (DMS), there is no practical method available under Federal Order regulations for the sharing of marketing costs and revenue fairly and equitably among all producers in the marketplace, independents and cooperative members alike. As a result, we are unable to continue marketing your milk under the current DMS arrangement.“Within the next few days, we will be sending you a six-month notice of termination. During this period, we encourage you to find another milk market in the Mideast Area. If you do not wish to or cannot find another market, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) will offer you membership and continue to market your milk. As a one-time accommodation and benefit to you, DFA will offer two special terms for the first year of membership. First, for the first year of membership, you will have the option to not pay a capital retain (equity). Second, for the first year, DFA will allow you to terminate your membership at any time, with 30 days’ prior written notice.“Furthermore, as part of DFA, you will be entitled to access all member programs and services including insurance, buying/farm inputs, risk management and lending programs. These programs are designed to bring value to you by helping you operate your dairy more economically and efficiently.“We have sincerely appreciated our relationship with you, and will continue to work hard every day to help support Mideast Area dairy producers and our industry.”last_img read more

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: [email protected] Former NASA scientist to speak at Rice’s Baker InstituteFormer NASA scientist James Head III will reflect on 35 years of U.S.-Russian space science cooperation and lessons for the future at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy March 5.The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Kelly International Conference Facility on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St. For directions, go to http://www.bakerinstitute.org/contact_directions.cfm. Head convenes the Vernadsky Institute/Brown University microsymposia on planetary science and related issues, held twice yearly in Moscow and Houston. He has served as an investigator with NASA and Russian space missions, including the Soviet Venera 15 and 16 and Phobos missions; the U.S. Magellan, Galileo and Mars Surveyor missions; and the Russian Mars 96 mission.Head, who is the Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at Brown, studies the processes that form and modify the surfaces, crusts and lithospheres of planets; how these processes vary with time; and how they preserve the historical record of planets. He also has researched volcanism, tectonism and glaciation and participated in field studies in Hawaii and at Mount St. Helens in Washington, as well as on volcanic deposits on seafloor dives and in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.Head came to Brown from NASA, where he analyzed potential landing sites, studied lunar samples and data and trained Apollo astronauts.For more information, go to http://www.bakerinstitute.org/events/a-presentation-by-james-head-iii-ph.d. Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Franz Brotzen at [email protected] or 713-348-6775. AddThislast_img read more