S. Africa’s New Age Newspaper Partnered by Times of India

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s The New Age newspaper, a daily that plans to start production in September, said the Times of India Group has taken a stake in the business and it will have an initial print-run of 170,000 copies.

The Gupta Group, the family which controls Sahara Computers Ltd., control the newspaper, which will compete with at least five large daily newspapers in the country’s major cities including Independent News & Media Plc’s Star newspaper in Johannesburg.

Essop Pahad, a former cabinet minister and adviser to the New Age, declined to say what stake Times of India has taken in an interview in Johannesburg today at a function to present the newspaper.

In November last year Avusa Ltd., the publisher of South Africa’s Sunday Times, shuttered it’s the Weekender newspaper three-and-a-half years after its start up because a slump in advertising made it unviable.

Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest media company which publishes South Africa’s The Daily Sun, has been cutting staff numbers at its newspaper and magazine titles since November 2008.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicky Smith in Johannesburg at nsmith38@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net