Radio Africa is reported to be in serious talks to buy Ghafla. Already, the Group CEO Patrick Quarcoo has offered Ksh 5 million for 90% stake in Ghafla. This offer was like an insult to the Ghafla founder and his 88mph investors according to people close to Ghafla.
Ghafla founders and investors demanded nothing less than Ksh 100 million. This came immediately after RAL bought 60% stake in digital media agency TRINC Media for a paltry Ksh 3 million.
According to documents in our possession including quartely reports, PQ bought 20% for himself and had RAL pump in money to buy 40% of TRINC Media. Sebastian Wafula maintains the other 40%, some in trust for an unnamed investor.
Radio Africa is very desperate to make an entry dominate the web and digital TV as they plan to still be the group which is youth friendly. They have ditched plans to start their own Ghafla clone www.shambamba.com but this plan might not be off the table as the group is also contemplating poaching all Ghafla bloggers and leaving Samuel Majani to start from scratch. Many bloggers at Ghafla are already getting more favours and leads from Radio Africa that they are really suspicious that the PQ employees are up to something.
Caroline Mutoko has tried to show Ghafla owners and writers favours through show invitation and lunch meetings. Others like Shaffie and Maina Kageni are also giving Ghafla all kinds of favours.
RAL bought into TRINC media because they wanted to get the earnings which various entities were channeling through Caroline Mutoko and Maina Kageni’s social media accounts. Caroline Mutoko was once reported to have earned up to Ksh 280,000 to promote the L’Oreal products on Facebook while Maina Kageni earned much more from other corporates. PQ thought that this was like letting his basket leak and so because Maina Kageni’s social media business was getting advice and support from TRINC media, they needed to own TRINC media.
The problem is that TRINC media has not proven to be the promising enterprise they thought it was. The digital media firm brought only Ksh 2 million to Radio Africa group since they were acquired. This means that the company is yet to break-even. TRINC Media was owned by Sebastian Wafula and an anonymous investor. People working or close to TRINC media are not putting the correct figures of their acquisition out there with others saying that they were acquired for Ksh 40 million while one ambitious insider indicate that it was $1 million (Ksh 86 million). There is no way PQ would buy TRINC media at a cost which is much more than what X-FM would cost (Ksh30 million).
TRINC is performing way below standard as it makes less and less despite having the like of Samsung account on board.
Ghafla was introduced to RAL by Shaffie Weru in October 2013. They have been in on and off talks since then. The group CEO, PQ, is not ready to have 88mph on board when they acquire Ghafla and so he is looking to buy them off completely. 88mph invested Ksh 2.8 million for 25% stake in Ghafla. They are not willing to let Ghafla go.
Others who have shown interest in buying Ghafla are Royal Media Services and MIH Internet. They were not so impressed with Ghafla with MIH Internet worried that the advertising revenue is so low compared to the hit stats they were shown. They thought that either the business model was wrong or just that the Ghafla entrepreneurs were not experienced enough. MIH went ahead and launched their news 24 for Kenya after they failed to buy Ghafla.