Trace and MTG look to Africa for growth

Olivier Laouchez

Olivier Laouchez

Trace’s strength in Africa was a key factor in Modern Times Group’s decision to acquire a controlling stake in the sports lifestyle and music broadcaster and the pair will jointly look to exploit free-to-air and non-broadcasting related opportunities across the continent, according to Trace CEO Olivier Laouchez.

MTG announced it had taken a 75% stake in Trace earlier this week. The broadcaster also has an option to acquire the remaining 25% to take full control at a later date, said Laouchez.

Laouchez said the “African dimension” had been key to MTG’s interest in Trace. MTG has launched FTA channels in Ghana and Tanzania, while Trace’s channels are carried by pay TV operator DStv and Canal Horizons, with a presence spanning both Anglophone and Francophone Africa.

Trace has also recently developed partnerships with mobile operators to bring additional branded services to mobile platforms.

Laouchez said that the Trace and MTG could work closely together, possibly bringing Trace content to MTG’s FTA channels.

Trace may also grow its presence in Africa by making selective acquisitions, said Laouchez. “MTG has significant internal financial resources,” he said. “We have discussed potential acquisitions and a line of finance to grow the company. “We have a few ideas in mind. Trace is ready to grow the company maybe by selected acquisition.”

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