Naspers reportedly mulling sale of MultiChoice Africa

multichoiceNaspers is considering the sale of its African pay TV business outside its home market of South Africa as one of a number of options for the service, according to local reports.

According to Bloomberg, citing two unnamed sources, Naspers is looking at a sale because of slow economic growth in key African markets and the proliferation of low-cost alternatives.

The sale will not include the profitable South African DStv platform, according to Bloomberg’s sources. The report said that the sale of the non-South African business was one of a number of options being considered and that a final decision had not been made.

Earlier, South African news site MyBroadband reported that Naspers was in talks to sell MultiChoice Africa to South Africa-based pan-African telco MTN.

According to Bloomberg, the pair briefly discussed a deal but no agreement was reached. MTN and MultiChoice have said they are in talks about sharing content, however.

MTN has in recent years expanded into TV, offering OTT subscription service in South Africa and acquiring licences elsewhere. The company recently announced the launch of a TV service in Cyprus, where it owns a local broadband network provider.

MultiChoice Africa’s performance has suffered as a result of competition from new lower cost entrants in key markets and from the decline in value of local currencies.

Naspers has over the last decade and half diversified away from pay TV to make investments in internet companies. The company has a stake in China’s Tencent Holdings that is now worth more than Naspers’ market value.

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