Fiji's biggest newspaper, The Fiji Times, has been bought from the Australian-owned News Limited in accordance with the country's newly implemented media decree.According to Fiji Times Online, Fiji Times has been bought by the Motibhai Group, a well-known business group in the country with several high-profile projects and businesses in their company portfolio.
According to the Fiji Times, the announcement was made by News Limited who did not disclose the sale amount.
"This purchase expresses our confidence in the future of Fiji. We will ensure that Fiji Times will operate as an independent unit within the Motibhai Group," chairman and chief executive of the Motibhai Group, Mahendra Patel said.
Mr Patel said his group had 80 years of business history in Fiji and expanded to new areas of business such as Fiji Foods and Prouds Stores.
"Fiji Times will be no exception," he said.
"We will take Fiji Times to a new level as we progress. We will ensure that the Fiji Times continues to be the preferred daily newspaper by the vast majority of Fiji's population and live by the adage "the day is not complete until you have read the Fiji Times," Mr Patel said.
According to the report, News Limited's chairman and chief executive, John Hartigan, said the sale to the group represented the best possible outcome for the staff, advertisers and readers of the Fiji Times.
"We are reluctant sellers of the Fiji Times but I am delighted that we have been able to find a buyer who will take over the business as a going concern, respect its heritage and invest in its future," Mr Hartigan said.
"I have known Mahendra Patel for many years. His past contribution as a director of the Fiji Times has been invaluable.
"I am therefore very pleased that the Motibhai Group has decided to purchase the business.
"Motibhai will be very good custodians of the newspaper and as shareholders they will be committed to the future of the Fiji Times.
News Limited has been forced to sell its holdings in Fiji Times following a newly implemented Media Decree in the country that stated that all media outlets had to be 90 per cent locally owned.