18 September 2018

Kenya: Multichoice Says Split Won't Affect Kenya Business

Plans by South African media and e-commerce firm Naspers, the owner of pay-TV provider MultiChoice, to list its video entertainment business on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and unbundle the unit to shareholders won't affect its Kenya operations, its local unit has said.

After split of its video business -- whose assets include MultiChoice, Showmax, DStv and SuperSport -- it will be named MultiChoice Group and will include MultiChoice South Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Botswana, MultiChoice Namibia, NMS Insurance Services SA, the African division of Showmax, Irdeto Holdings and Irdeto South Africa.

MultiChoice Kenya said: "There is no impact on the Kenyan business operations. At this point in time, the business is focusing on bedding down its listing and simultaneous unbundling of MultiChoice Group from the Naspers Group," said MultiChoice Kenya corporate affairs manager Philip Wahome in response to the Business Daily's queries.

"We currently do not have any plans to explore other listings outside the JSE," he added.

The decision to split and list the video entertainment business comes as MultiChoice faces serious headwinds in form of tighter regulation in South Africa and competition from on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, which have begun to erode its subscriber numbers in the lucrative premium segment.

However, the firm says it's optimistic that the move will create additional value for its shareholders as it continues to invest in the country's e-commerce businesses.

" Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling is expected to unlock value for Naspers shareholders," Naspers said.

Naspers says it employs more than 9,000 people across Africa.

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