Abu Dhabi’s Al Yah (YahSat) and its partner SES are examining various options under a “strategic review” now taking place. SES is due to announce its latest year-end financials next week (on February 27th) and more detailed news as to the next steps for the ‘Yahlive’ business division.
However, CEO Sami Boustany explains it is time to take the business to the next level. “For us, the shareholders, and what we have achieved in the market in terms of viewership is quite impressive. When we talk about the Farsi market, and its population in excess of 140 million, and then the French Maghreb region where this past year we have been Number 1, the shareholders now feel that to take Yahlive to the next step might require a partnership of some sort with somebody who is quite comfortable to operate in these markets. Our shareholders have invested heavily to achieve the Number 1 position in terms of channels, exclusive channels and viewership, and the idea right now is to capitalise on these achievements and who might be out there to help take Yahlive to the next step.”
Boustany says the shareholders are looking at a number of options. “The shareholders are looking at perhaps a partial divestment from either shareholder or both, or whether it is a partnership with another operator in the region or a global player, and these are options being discussed at the shareholder level and I am not privy to those discussions. My job is simple, and it is to make sure that operationally it is business as usual and if there is some sort of transaction in the future – or not – and that it is best that I am shielded from these discussions. Either way, my role is to see that we maintain these leadership positions in our key markets.”