MultiChoice to List on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange By February

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MultiChoice to List on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange By Feb 27

Naspers’ move to divest from its previously valuable holdings, MutiChoice company, is in full steam now. According to a report by Bloomberg, Africa’s most valuable company has announced that the listing of the Pay TV provider is due to be completed by February 27, 2019.

The listing is expected to be done on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Interestingly, the move will allow Naspers shareholders take direct ownership of MultiChoice rather than having that right through their stock holdings in Naspers.

MultiChoice was originally a part of M-Net, the South African TV service. Over the last 20 years, MultiChoice has grown relatively quickly and now holds important market share in several African countries, most importantly, Nigeria and South Africa. Both countries represent the continent’s biggest economies and have two of its largest populations.

Presently, MultiChoice has 13 million subscribers across 50 markets.

However, over the last few years, growth has stalled for the Pay TV provider. But importantly, due to its bandwidth and economic situation in its target countries, MultiChoice was slow to develop Internet technology as an alternative to its current satellite operations. This is now causing serious issues for the company.

Over the last two years, American video on demand provider, Netflix, has crept into the African continent. Powered by the internet, Netflix’s operations are cheaper and its reach is far more global, thus compounding issues for MultiChoice. Two years after it arrived Africa, Netflix already has 400,000 subscribers, and that growth rate has encouraged it to produce original content for the continent.

Although, MultiChoice has since developed and marketed its own internet and on demand video services, they have been slow to catch on. Over the last 12 months, its premium subscribers have declined, reducing its average revenue per user from $27 to $25. Currently, MultiChoice is valued at around $6 billion, meanwhile Netflix had a movie budget of $8 billion, for 2018 alone.

Considering these, Naspers began exploring an exit from its former cash cow last year. And by September, news of the listing hit the market.

For now though, there’s no clear view about how the spin-off of MultiChoice will affect the business operations going forward.

However, it is clear the new owners come February 27 will push for more aggressive growth measures. With the company’s revenue still strong, now is the best time to adopt more aggressive growth tactics to shield it from competitors.

For instance, MultiChoice has the upper hand in the market, considering Netflix requires paid subscription as well as an internet subscription. Looking at both costs, MultiChoice already offers a better option as users don’t have to pay for internet connection to view content in their TV’s.

But any growth tactic will require a change in current marketing and service offerings. Like cheaper bouquets, more original content and importantly better mobile platforms.


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