Richard Pieris washes hands of media
Rubber rich diversified conglomerate Richard Peiris and Co. PLC has
sold the remaining 51 per cent of its media arm - Rivira Media
Corporation (Pvt) Ltd for Rs. 150 million, making a capital gains of Rs.
The Rivira Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, publishers of the weeklies
-Nation on Sunday and the Rivira was one of the up market ventures of
the Richard Peiris Group, launched simultaneously on May 21, 2006 with
the third weekly The Bottomline, the midweek newspaper of the Group
subsequently hitting the market on Wednesdays.
“We had earlier sold a 49 per cent of that company which was
incurring a loss of over Rs. 100 million and the buyers were a
consortium of investors led by Nilantha Rajapakse a UK businessman who
bought the remaining 51 per cent as well,” Richard Peiris Group Chief
Operating Officer (GCOO) Pravir Samarasinghe told Daily News Business
“The decision to exit from the media business was to trim the fat of
the group and stick to the core areas, which were contributing
positively to the bottomline. We have no interest or involvement in
media business now,” Samarasinghe explained.
He said that Richard Peiris was also in the process of disposing
already- loss making assets while it would be monitoring other ventures
within the Group which are making marginal profits or losses and a
decision would be taken soon whether to retain them or not while
concentrating on the core businesses.
“In this context, the RPC Group has already sold Arpico Homes, which
is the property development arm of the Group and has contracted with a
buyer to divest the remainder of that company as well,” Samarasinghe
The core businesses and the profit centres that the RPC Group would
be retaining and concentrating will be Plantations, Plastics and Rubber
products and the tyre businesses.
The rubber-related business has been revamped with regaining lost
markets and new buyers and the return of some profitable customers for
rubber mats and shoe soling.
Samarasinghe also said that the supermarkets chain of the Group was
doing extremely well and they have shown a 35%- 40% Year On Year Growth
which speaks well of that sector in the Group’s bottomline. “This is one
of the areas of the Group that we are bullish on,” he said.