Sections of the draft Fiji Media Industry Development Decree 2010 relating to media ownership include:
s36(1): In every media organisation -A key Fiji entrepreneur, Mahendra Patel, has scoffed at rumours linking him to a buy-out of the Fiji Times:
(a) in the case of a company, all the directors and in the case of any other legal entity, partnership, joint venture and of an individual, any person or persons holding analogous powers shall respectively be citizens of Fiji permanently residing in Fiji;
(b) up to 10 percent of the beneficial ownership of any share or shares in a company or any interest in the nature of ownership, partial or total, of any other person holding any interest in a media organisation may be owned by foreign persons, but at least 90 percent of the beneficial ownership of any shares or shares in a company or any interest in the nature of ownership, partial or total, of any person holding any interest in a media organisation must be owned by citizens of Fiji permanently residing in Fiji, whether any such interests subsist at the present time or are sought with a view to future ownership.
A prominent businessman has denied rumours that his company is interested in leading a buyout of Fiji Times shares. Mahendra Patel, of Motibhai & Co Limited, laughed off rumours that the company was interested in the newspaper.Meanwhile, the Fiji Sun, which editorially takes an opposing view to the Fiji Times and is seen as being more pragmatic and accommodating to the regime, has condemned the Samoan prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, over an "erratic" attack on regime leader Voreqe Bainimarama.
Speaking from his Nadi office yesterday, Mr Patel said the rumours were news to them.
“We did not even know that Fiji Times was on sale,” he said when queried about the rumours.
“We are not interested and there have been no negotiations whatsoever.”
Australian newspaper company News Limited owns the Fiji Times.
However, under the draft of the Media Industry Development Decree, 90 per cent of such ownership must be held by local interests.
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