Shareholders approve Gleaner/RJR merger

The merger of the RJR Communications Group with The Gleaner took a step closer to reality as shareholders on Wednesday approved the deal at an extra ordinary general meeting held in the Corporate Area.

Three hundred and 21 shareholders with the RJR Communications Group voted in person or by proxy with 317 voted yes.

Shareholders representing 219 million shares voted to approve the deal while persons representing 30 million shares voted no.

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Gleaner shareholders also voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger.

At the start of two separate emergency meetings company officials made their case to shareholders for the merger.

Shareholders of both entities had previously voiced concern about the proposed deal.

In seeking to clarify concerns, Managing Director of the RJR Group, Gary Allen said the merger will lead to “two primary newspapers competing against each other and owned by two different companies The two primary television stations will be owned by different people and competing against each other. The only area in which you have any coming together is with the radio stations, and even so you’re talking about five radio stations out of a market of 27.”

The merger will see the media entities of The Gleaner, including The Gleaner UK, USA, and Canada, falling under the RJR Group.                     

The shareholders will be called upon on January 7 to approve changes to RJR’s articles of association.