There are strong indications that telecoms giant, MTN is edging towards making an official announcement on rumored plans to acquire MultiChoice Africa and a decision could be reached as early as this month.
Headquartered in Randburg South Africa, MultiChoice was founded in 1996 and has grown to become a video entertainment and internet company with a strong presence in South Africa and across the African continent.
PUNCH reported that top management employees at the MTN Group head office in Johannesburg, South Africa disclosed the company will “take a stand” by the end of June on its plans to acquire MultiChoice Africa.
It revealed that MTN and MultiChoice have been discussing since the last quarter of 2016 on the acquisition deal and it is now that the telecoms giant’s decision about two years ago to acquire a digital pay TV license in Nigeria for NGN34 billion is beginning to make sense. It would be recalled that MTN coughed out an additional NGN25 billion to put the service in order in May 2016.
Also in September 2015, Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) gave MTN Nigeria part of the country’s 700MHz broadcasting spectrum solely for the purpose.
“Should we (the MTN Group) finally come to agree to terms with MultiChoice, which is expected to happen before June ending, then the pronouncement will be made in July,” a source told PUNCH.
The source added, “Well, the whole gambit depends on the outcome we get from MultiChoice Nigeria, which is the cash cow for the pay television company.
“MultiChoice realises that in whatever acquisition plan it wants to get into, the Nigerian market must be strongly considered, given its peculiarities and the dynamics from rival companies.”
“But above all, MTN is particularly bothered that the country (Nigeria) where it has its highest number of telecommunications subscribers will not be able to meet the June 2017 deadline for digital migration, despite having failed to meet the earlier deadline of June 2015. So, it is of the conviction that the acquisition will only present a stronger frontier to give Nigerians the opportunity to watch TV, even on their smartphones, after June 2017. Other countries in Africa that will be affected by the digital migration deadline will also benefit from the opportunities inherent.”