South African conglomerate Naspers is reportedly looking to sell its pay-TV business over Africa. Reports in the local press say that South Africa’s telco giant MTN was one potential buyer.
The disposal is said NOT to include Multichoice’s South African pay-TV business, but only those businesses which operate over the rest of Africa. Both Naspers and MTN have confirmed the discussions are on-going but now focus on the sharing of TV content, including sharing content on mobile phones.
Bloomberg says the decision to examine a sale – not confirmed as yet – is because of the “sluggish economic” prospects, and not aided by currency challenges in many of the markets affected. Each of the markets is also increasingly seeing threats from rival – and lower-priced – competitors.
Naspers, which over the past two decades has enjoyed solid revenues from its TV division, and where South Africa’s pay-TV subscribers still represent a dependable revenue stream, has increasingly moved away from its African media base.
In 2001 it invested heavily in Chinese tech company Tencent which has grown into an immensely profitable businesses, and its stake in Tencent now has a valuation of a spectacular $107 billion (while Naspers market value is given by Bloomberg as some $89 billion).