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About The Daily Times of Nigeria PLC was incorporated in Nigeria on 6th June 1925 as the Nigerian Printing & Publishing Company Limited by the quartet of Messrs. V. R. Osborne, L. A. Archer, R. Burrow and Adeyemo Alakija. The company started printing on June 1, 1926 with the publication title, ‘The Nigerian Daily Times’. The principal business for which the company was established – ‘to carry on business as printers and publishers, advertising agents and newsvendors of a Newspaper to be called The Nigerian Daily Times, and any other newspapers, periodicals and journals’. By a special resolution of the shareholders dated May 30, 1963, the name of the company was changed to The Daily Times of Nigeria Limited (“DTN”). The organisation is Nigeria’s premier newspaper company and one of the earliest to be established in the African continent. In June 1963, DTN became a public company with its shares listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Between 1925 and 1947, the ownership of DTN changed hands severally including the acquisition in 1935 by Mr. R. B. Paul, a Liverpool businessman, and that of Daily Mirror Group (DMG) in 1947. In 1963, the gradual transfer of ownership of DTN to Nigerians commenced and by March 31 1974, following the promulgation of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree, DTN became a wholly owned Nigerian company. On September 1, 1975, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON) acquired sixty percent (60%) equity holding of DTN. By the 70s, DTN had become household name and a toast of the Nigerian public. It dominated the Nigerian Publishing industry with its newspapers and publications circulating in all major cities and towns in the country including neighbouring West African countries of Ghana and Cameroun. It also had offices in London, New York and East Africa. At peak performance, the newspapers and publications produced by the company included ‘Daily Times’, ‘Sunday Times’, ‘Lagos Weekend’, ‘Sporting Times’, ‘Business Times’, ‘Times Homes Studies’, ‘Times Review’, ‘Times Digest’ and ‘Headlines’. It is on record that DTN is the only Nigerian newspaper to attain a 500,000 copy circulation with one title. The Daily Times had emerged a colossus. It was at the peak of its success and magnificence that the Federal Government in 1977, took over total ownership and control of the company. Though the company prospered, posting high and superior returns, it would soon go the way of government enterprises with overbearing political pressures, financial impropriety and recklessness characterising its operations. Public perception began to shift towards the negative, resulting in declining business and fortunes. The company was loosing grip of the market, its glory was fast fading and Government would have no option but to sell. In 2004, the Bureau of Public Enterprises in line with the resolve of the Obasanjo administration to shed the weight of non-performing Parastatals and agencies by privatising them, slated The Daily Times of Nigeria Plc for privatisation. In an exercise that proved to be the most successful sale by the BPE, Folio Communications Limited emerged the highest bidder and consequently won to acquire 96.5% controlling shares of the Daily Times. The winning bid price was N1, 250,000,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred & Fifty Million Naira Only).

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This entry was added on Thursday, 02 April 2015 12:55

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