Times Media buys into African radio and TV

Times Media Group (TMG) has acquired a 32.26% stake in Ghana’s Multimedia Group Limited for a sum of R144 million, the group announced on Tuesday (17 September).

Multimedia is a radio and television business and is the largest independent media company in Ghana.

Multimedia was founded in 1995 and currently owns and manages six of Ghana´s leading radio stations, three on-line media sites, a multi-channel satellite television service and a marketing and events management business. Its television channels also offer access into the broader West African market, particularly Nigeria.

In 2009, Multimedia launched its free-to-air television platform, MultiTV. The Ghanaian television market has seen massive growth over the past four years, and to date MultiTV has sold 1,2 million set top boxes.

Most of the growth in MultiTV was funded with expensive debt which has strained the cash flows of Multimedia, hampering its ability to grow, the group said.

According to Times Media, its capital investment will be used to retire all of Multimedia´s debt, “leaving the business in a powerful position to deliver further growth in television and sustainable profitabilitym” it said.

“The Acquisition represents a significant opportunity to realise TMG´s strategy of geographical and format diversification as well as harness its existing content and management expertise. Ghana represents an attractive investment destination and over the medium-term its future is secure,” the group said.

In addition to the R144 million stake, TMG will provide Multimedia with a Rand denominated shareholder loan facility of R40 million, it said.

The Shareholder Loan Facility will accrue interest at prime plus 2% and interest payments will be made semi-annually in arrears.

In August 2013, TMG sold its investment and market data business, I-Net Bridge to Naspers-owned McGregor Bureau for Financial Analysis (BFA) for R115 million.

This followed the group’s subsidiary, Avusa Publishing Proprietary, agreeing to acquire the remaining shares of BDFM from UK business Pearson Overseas Holdings.

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Times Media buys into African radio and TV