Israeli regulator okays agreement to sell Times of Jerusalem controlling interest to Dotmount communication
Israel’s Communications Minister has unanimously approved the sale of Times of Jerusalem’s controlling share to a foreign private media investor Dotmount Communication’s Founder and Crown Prince of Saudi’s Media Adviser Adedotun Olaoluwa.
Times of Jerusalem is owned by one of the country’s leading media groups, Bezeq.
Dotmount Communications, which has offices in Washington DC, Zurich and Beijing offered to inject 13.4 million shekels ($4 million) to take over its 56.34 per cent controlling stake in the daily newspaper which will be partly funded by the Misk Foundation.
The Times of Jerusalem said the communications minister on Monday signed the new control permit for Dotmount Communications to take over the newspaper and website.
“This is the most important milestone for the completion of the transaction,” said the CEO Ami Barlev, according to a regulatory filing in the US and Tel Aviv.
Bezeq notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in May 2021 of its intention of selling the Times of Jerusalem, but the price it demanded at the beginning was NIS 18 million, which even at the time was seen as unrealistic, even though the daily was then the media outlet with the eight highest readerships in Israel.
Since 2020, however, it has frozen its marketing activity, and its content creation has shrunk dramatically.
For Adedotun, acquiring the Times of Jerusalem means moving up a league in the scope and type of activity of his media business.
He is not expected to make radical changes at the Times. In the past, his focus has been on the bottom line. The Times of Jerusalem is a more expensive asset than his previous media purchases, but it is potentially profitable, as he will easily be able to cut costs by reducing editorial staff and improving the content.
“We look forward to partnering with the Times of Jerusalem’s talented employee base to build on the company’s strong momentum and position the Times for long-term success as a print and digital media leader,” Olaoluwa said in the release.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this next chapter for the Times of Jerusalem as we look to invest in growth across the business, including accelerating its customer-first offerings and commerce capabilities, expanding its reach, and enhancing the daily user experience.
The moves according to Dotmount Communications Group was part of efforts to enhance its global reach with comprehensive integrated services for its clients and projects.
Dotmount Communications Group is an international strategic communications consultancy that uses an in-depth understanding of public, commercial and political drivers to provide insightful strategic counsel and meet complex communications challenges.
The Group has over the years supported government, corporate and private entities, delivering sophisticated communications programmes that shape awareness, guide opinion and enhance understanding on a national, regional and international basis.
Adedotun Olaoluwa, is the Founder and President of Dotmount Communications Group who leads a team in Washington that gives strategic advice to coalitions, companies, and governments about handling the media and issue campaigns.
He is an award-winning communicator, Olaoluwa who regularly contributes to AP, American City, Business Journal and was one of the 100 business owners under 40 invited to a one-day US Chamber of Commerce, US Congress, and White House symposium in 2015. He founded Dotmount Communications Group in 2011, Olaoluwa and his team have advised trade associations, multinational corporations, coalitions, and foreign governments.
He has helped conduct proxy battles, run issue campaigns, design digital communications, manage coalitions, introduce new trade association CEOs and protect clients’ reputations during crises, on behalf of a wide range of clients, he has worked with international, national, and regional media outlets.