StarTimes wins bid for TopTV

StarTimes has won the bid for On Digital Media’s (ODM’s) TopTV, blocking a last minute move from MultiChoice to keep the pay-television provider in local hands.

Shareholders and creditors voted on the rival bids in Sandton on Tuesday, according to Business Day.

TopTV has been in business rescue proceedings since October last year, with business rescue practitioner Peter van den Steen saying TopTV’s content providers had suggested they would withdraw content if the provider did not find a buyer on Tuesday, fearing they would not get paid.

HumanIPO reported earlier this week South African consortium Dynamic TV, led by businessmen Given Mkhari and Malose Kekana and backed by MultiChoice, had entered the race for TopTV.

MultiChoice may yet launch a legal challenge to the decision, and is considering its options. Earlier in the day, a workers’ representative had told the meeting to allow ODM more time to consider the bids, accusing StarTimes of using “bullying tactics”.

HumanIPO understands that, contrary to media reports, Kenya’s Wananchi Group never tabled a bit for TopTV.

Senior officials at Wananchi told HumanIPO the group, which was founded in 2008, was more focused on East African expansion than beginning operations in South Africa.

TopTV was last week given permission by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to broadcast three adult channels, a move which had been strongly opposed by many.

Posted in: Broadcasting

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