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Naspers said to consider sale of Multichoice Africa

A disposal of Multichoice won’t include the South African division.

Naspers Ltd. is considering the sale of its pay-TV business in Africa as sluggish economic expansion in key markets stifles growth and viewers switch to cheaper online alternatives, according to two people familiar with the matter.

A disposal of Multichoice won’t include the South African division, which is still highly profitable, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans haven’t been made public. A sale is one of a number of options being considered by Africa’s biggest company by market value, and a final decision hasn’t been reached, one of the people said.

Naspers and MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless operator, have briefly discussed a deal for Multichoice Africa, but no agreement was reached, according to one of the people. Both companies confirmed on Thursday that they are still in talks that were disclosed earlier about sharing TV content. MyBroadband, a South African internet news site, reported earlier that MTN was in talks to buy MultiChoice Africa, citing unidentified people.

A sale of Multichoice Africa would represent a further shift by Cape Town-based Naspers away from its traditional media business, which includes newspapers and Multichoice’s main product, the DSTV satellite-TV service. Since winning big with a 2001 investment in Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings Ltd., a stake that’s now worth about $107 billion, Naspers has become a serial investor in internet companies around the world, ranging from an online travel agency in India to education software providers in Silicon Valley.

Profit Slump

The value of the Tencent stake is worth more than Naspers’s market value of 1.2 trillion rand ($89 billion), which partly reflects the weak performance of the TV division. While the company arrested a decline in subscriber numbers over the six months through September, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at the unit declined 33 percent to $331 million.

As Naspers charges customers in local currencies, “the continued weakness of currencies and economies in many African countries resulted in lower U.S. dollar revenues,” the company said in its November results presentation.

Nigeria’s economy contracted for the first time in 25 years in 2016 and its currency has depreciated by 37 percent against the dollar over the past 12 months. Sub-Saharan African economies grew by an average of 1.4 percent last year, compared with 3.4 percent in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund.

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P


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no surprises here – Dstv is all about
seriously kak value for money at R1000 /month
a huge amount of channels not worth watching
getting out of touch like SABC

its just like watching “parliament live” –

DSTV is a lot of cr@p! They are keeping the SA business because we South Africans are stupid enough to pay the R 800 odd per month purely because we are sports mad? That I think is changing and I for one watch everything I want on a good fibre line. I catch sport here and there, but currently do not follow or attend any live sport in SA.

I am not surprised. There is no more history on the History channel. Only reality TV like, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars Texas and American pickers. Calling that the “History channel” is like calling “Nkandla” a national treasure. Seriously who watches that cr@p? What is the big deal about “reality TV?” I mean really do you want to watch how a guy brushes his teeth in the morning, prepares a meal or empties the garbage bin?? If you really have a need for that, then watch yourself or the neighbours do those menial little tasks. At least then you don’t have to pay DSTV subscriptions but you get the same (equally boring) entertainment value…

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