MultiChoice Namibia has ruled out the possibility of listing the business on the Namibia Stock Exchange following in the footsteps of the MultiChoice Group (MCG) which was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last month after Naspers completed the unbundling of its shares in the business.
MultiChoice Namibia is 51 per cent owned by the ruling Swapo Party, through Kalahari Holdings, with MultiChoice Africa owning the remaining 49 percent.
“The MultiChoice Group believes the proposed structure as an integrated business with a listing on the JSE is the most suitable at present. Other listings are not currently being contemplated,” Levana Cloete, Corporate Affairs Manager at MultiChoice Namibia told the Windhoek Observer.
Quizzed on the benefits of the MCG listing to the local business and subscribers, Cloete said the consolidated group provided a ripe opportunity for those looking at investing at group level.
“We believe the listing of MultiChoice Group (MCG) provides an excellent opportunity to invest in the leading provider of video entertainment on the African continent. MCG brings an incomparable local and international content offering to around 14-million households and is one of the fastest growing pay-tv broadcast providers globally. With strong financials, the flexibility of an ungeared balance sheet and deep local knowledge, MultiChoice Group hopes to deliver excellent returns to local shareholders over time,” she said.
Cloete said pay television remains relevant despite increased competition from Over the top (OTT), which is content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to viewers over the Internet, which provides new opportunities for the company.
“Essentially, Pay TV is holding its own whilst OTT offerings continue to grow. Pay TV subscriptions in Africa and the Middle East are expected to grow by four times the global average between 2018 and 2022. Africa is seeing a growth in smartphone penetration and broadband expansion which opens up new OTT opportunities for MultiChoice,” she said.
Cloete said the company had successfully managed its way through the current economic challenges and poised for future growth.
Through our diverse footprint across Namibia (which includes 154 employees, 104 installers and 13 agents), we’ve successfully navigated our business during this time, presenting growth ability during these challenges. We understand our customers and tailor our Dusts and GOtv offerings and services to suit their video entertainment needs. This coupled with a leading content offering, world-class technology and infrastructure, the business is well positioned for future growth.
MCG’s listing creates a public company that provides pay TV content to about 14 million homes in 50 African markets, with content deals with eight out of 10 major international studios. The group has 37 sports channels and Showmax has access to 17,500 hours of content, with half being local content.
The newly listed company includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa Holdings, SVOD outfit Showmax, digital platform security provider Irdeto, and all their subsidiaries and affiliates.
The listing includes the allocation of an additional 5 percent stake in MultiChoice South Africa for Phuthuma Nathi shareholders for no consideration. Phuthuma Nathi, a black economic empowerment initiative, now has a 25 percent stake in the South African unit.