Jay Z buys luxury champagne brand

Hip-hop mogul Jay Z has always been synonymous with the luxury French champagne Armand de Brignac, also known as Ace of Spades for years. And just yesterday he proved his loyalty to the brand by purchasing it for an undisclosed amount.


Sovereign Brands, the New York-based wine and spirits company that owned the label would not be drawn into commenting on the value of the deal.


Armand de Brignac is produced by a staff of eight people at the Cattier family home in the French town of Chigny-les-Roses, with the golden bottles bearing an ace-of-spades insignia. A bottle currently retails at $225 (R2 506).


While the winemaking house was established in 1763, the Armand de Brignac line was only launched in 2006 – the same year it was discovered by Jay Z who featured the it in his video for the hit Show Me What You Got.


Yvonne Lardner, a spokeswoman for Sovereign Brands said the company has had a “wonderful relationship” with Jay Z. “He became interested in owning the brand and made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse,” she said. “To establish an iconic, credible high-end champagne in such a short period of time is something trulyremarkable,” she added.


In one high-profile incident, Jay Z showed off a display of 350 bottles of Armand de Brignac in 2012 when he and his wife Beyoncé threw a fund-raising party for President Barack Obama at a New York nightclub.


The giant presentation was quickly covered up however, with Obama’s re-election campaign team presumably concerned about him appearing surrounded by $300-a-bottle champagne.

This acquisition is the latest business venture for Jay Z, whose original name is Shawn Carter. His past transactions have included a stake in the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn that he later sold .

Forbes magazine has estimated his net worth at $520 million (R5,8 billion). The magazine said this week that Beyoncé was the highest-earning woman in music last year, raking in $115 million (R1,2 billion).

Jay Z and other rappers have frequently extolled the joys of champagne. His song Young Forever envisioned a time in which “you never get old and the champagne’s always cold.”

But hip-hop’s relationship with champagne has not been without its difficulties. Louis Roederer’s Cristal brand was always a favorite among hip-hop artists until in 2006 Jay Z  called for a boycott of the brand because of comments by an executive that he deemed to be racist.

The executive, who was commenting on hip-hop’s association with champagne, denied the allegations.


HCI's Golding and Hogan both quit

The intrigue surrounding Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) deepened when executive chairman Marcel Golding quit along with Barbara Hogan‚ a non-executive director and former cabinet minister‚ over allegations of political interference at TV station e.tv.

Investment group HCI is a controlling shareholder of e.tv through its Sabido Investments subsidiary. HCI said last week it had suspended Golding and was instituting disciplinary action against him after he had allegedly bought R24m in shares in Ellies‚ a distributor of set-top boxes and other digital equipment‚ without board approval.

Golding challenged his suspension in the Labour Court last week‚ but it ruled that he should face disciplinary proceedings. He announced his resignation shortly thereafter.

eNCA‚ an e.tv news channel‚ reported on that Golding is looking at pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal against HCI at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration.

Golding claimed in his court papers that he was being pushed out of the group because he had been trying to protect e.tv’s editorial independence.

Annexed to his papers were e-mails and letters exchanged between him‚ Johnny Copelyn (the other co-founder of HCI)‚ e.tv’s Chief Executive Bronwyn Keene-Young (who is married to Golding) and HCI director Yunis Shaik. These relate to the station’s coverage of government infrastructure projects.

Secret agreement to broadcast dam opening

In one of the letters Shaik says e.tv had an “agreement” with Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel to broadcast an event where President Jacob Zuma would open a new dam.

Patel is a former general secretary of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu). Golding and Copelyn are both former unionists. The largest shareholder of HCI is Sactwu with a 32% stake.

However‚ Judge Anton Steenkamp said in his ruling that while there could be substantial evidence of editorial interference and it was “worrying”‚ it was not central to Golding’s application.

In one of three regulatory statements‚ HCI said: “We note the resignation of Barbara Hogan and express our surprise at the hostile manner in which it is couched and publicly distributed. We thank Barbara for her services to HCI and assure the public that‚ perhaps other than Marcel himself‚ no other board members see this matter similarly.”

According to Bloomberg‚ Hogan’s letter said Shaik had told her that Sactwu was frustrated that e.tv was not giving Patel enough coverage.

“I am mindful of the briefing that Yunis Shaik gave me when he claimed that Sactwu had lost patience with the editorial practices of e.tv‚ citing the failure to give prominent coverage to Patel’s economic pronouncements‚” she wrote in a letter dated October 26.

The eNCA website said Hogan had claimed that the Ellies share-deal investigation was done in an “unprofessional way”.


For more about these allegations of political interference at TV station e.tv click here.


Source: Bizcommunity

Gloo merges with WPP's Ogilvy & Mather SA

Another move by advertising giant WPP, has resulted in it acquiring Gloo Digital Design, one of South Africa’s largest digital agencies, through Ogilvy & Mather South Africa.

“The marketing communication landscape is shifting towards an integrated future, where digital is no longer a separate silo. For us as a company, it radically changes how we deliver communications solutions to our clients in a world where platforms and channels have converged. Consumers across the continent are increasingly nimble in how they move between platforms, and it is critical that the solutions we offer our clients are scaled to capitalise on this effectively. This transaction will allow us to introduce our latest House of Dynamic Content offering effectively into the South African market,” said Ogilvy & Mather SA chairman, Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke in a statement.

The acquisition will see Pete Case, Founder and CEO of Gloo, take up a central role in Ogilvy & Mather SA as co-Chief Creative Officer. The statement further explains that other senior employees at Gloo Johannesburg will take up positions across the agency and its digital and CRM business, OgilvyOne Worldwide SA.

Gloo will reportedly be absorbed into the Ogilvy & Mather SA Johannesburg office and will form part of an internal technology and innovation hub to the 15 companies within the O&M SA Group. According to the statement, Gloo Cape Town will continue to operate as an independent and separate digital specialist, with the added resources of the groups’ international innovations lab to accelerate its focus on leading-edge technology and innovation.


Gallo Records acquires Sheer Sound

This is the second record label acquisition for Gallo Record Company this year, shortly after the Bula acquisition in mid September 2014.


Gallo Record Company, having been a leader in local music since 1926, holds some of the greatest South African music catalogue of all time including Lucky Dube, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stimela, The Soul Brothers, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Manhattan Brothers, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa, Ge’ Korsten, Lusanda Spiritual Group and Mango Groove to name just a few.


Sheer Sound is an independent record label founded in 1994. The label was primarily focused as a jazz and world music label with a stellar line up of artists including Busi Mhlongo, Gito Baloi, Paul Hamner and McCoy Mrubata, who were established through Sheer Sound during the late 1990’s.


Later the label signed Sipho Gumede, Ernie Smith, Gloria Bosman and Zim Ngqawana amongst others. Sheer has also been label host to the multi-platinum Zimbabwean music super star, Oliver Mtukudzi. The Sheer Sound domestic roster grew into various other genres adding an adult contemporary line up including Farryl Purkiss, Jeremy Loops and The Graeme Watkins Project.


Sheer’s international lineup houses some of the most prestigious independent labels including World Circuit (Gold-selling Grammy-winning label Buena Vista Social Club and Ali Farka Toure), PIAS (Tiesto, Alt-J, Editors), Cooking Vinyl (Prodigy, Marilyn Manson), Telarc (Grammy-winning label featuring Fourplay, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Jeannie Bryson, Ray Brown) as well as Mack Avenue (home to Jonathan Butler and Kirk Whalum).


“Sheer & Bula now form part of Gallo Record Company and Times Media’s broader strategy to build our music business into a formidable player in South Africa. The acquisition brings an upsize in staff from Sheer Sound who will be joining the Gallo team effective immediately. We are expecting major impetus in the industry with these two major music acquisitions,” says Andrew Gill, managing director Broadcast & Content at Times Media.



Bloemfontein Entertainment

Bloemfontein is situated right in the middle of South Africa. You drive through this oasis when you are going from one end of South Africa to the other.

What do you do when you are in Bloemfontein for entertainment?

You can visit Oliewenhuis Art Museum, it is a Neo-Dutch style mansion that was completed in 1941 and it was the residence of the Governor General of the Union of South Africa. In 1985 it was converted into an art museum as a satellite of the National Museum. Some of the outstanding Permanent Collection housed at Oliewenhuis includes a unique outdoor Sculpture Park and a working African Carousel.

You can also stop by the Anglo Boer War Museum for a little bit of history entertainment. In this history museum you can see the age old conflicts of more than a century barely dampened by the passages, coming to life in one volatile museum.

After that you can stop by The National Museum if you are more interested in fossils. The National Museum will serve as good entertainment if you are a historian that likes fascinating items.

If you are more of an outdoor person Free Sate National Botanical Gardens will be the place where you will be entertained. This all year round popular carefully landscaped and colourful garden with paved walkways will be the place where you can have a walk in the moonlight.

If you are a night owl, but not into clubbing, then Naval Hill will be the place for you. You can drive up Naval Hill in the winter or summer for a picnic and enjoy the spectacular sunset over the Free State. The entrance is free and you have a full view over the City of Roses. This will surely be entertainment you will be able to tell your friends about.

You can stop by the mall or Waterfront and grab something to eat before you get out and about for some entertainment in Bloemfontein. Enjoy your stay!