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Thread: Showtime and Orbit merge

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    Arrow Showtime and Orbit merge

    Showtime and Orbit merge

    By Julian Clover
    July 12, 2009 17.16 UK

    Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) has announced it is to merge its Showtime Arabia joint venture with the Orbit Group.

    “This deal brings together two great brands into one company to offer customers the very best in Western and Arabic entertainment,” said Faisal al Ayyar, the vice chairman of KIPCO. “Showtime and Orbit were pioneers of the region’s pay-TV market and we’ve both been calling for consolidation of the market for some time. Joining forces in this way is good news for customers, staff and the regional television industry.”

    No financial terms were disclosed, though the deal is said to be a 50/50 venture between the new partners.

    KIPCO owns 73% of Showtime Arabia with the remainder held by the US Viacom Group. Previously KIPCO had said it was talking with potential partners and in 2006 had announced an IPO, but later postponed the plan following a downturn in Arab financial markets.

    New subscribers will benefit from a package that includes 70 exclusive channels.

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    UPDATE 1-Kuwait's KIPCO says to merge pay TV unit with Orbit

    UPDATE 1-Kuwait's KIPCO says to merge pay TV unit with Orbit

    KUWAIT, July 12 (Reuters) - Investment firm Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) (KPRO.KW) said on Sunday it had agreed to merge its pay-television subsidiary Showtime Arabia with Orbit Group, a unit of a Saudi Arabia Mawarid Group.

    Showtime Arabia is owned by Gulf DTH, a joint-venture between KIPCO and U.S. media conglomerate Viacom (VIAb.N).

    "The new company is a partnership between the Orbit Group, a member of the Riyadh-based Mawarid Group, and Showtime Arabia," KIPCO said in a statement without giving the value of the deal.

    KIPCO, which has stakes in 50 companies and operates in 21 countries, owns a 75.3 percent of Showtime Arabia, It has said previously that it was in talks with media firms to merge the unit, which might be floated later.

    KIPCO, which controls assets worth $19 billion, had planned to offer shares to the public in Showtime Arabia in 2006 but postponed the plan, citing a downturn of Arab markets.

    Shares of KIPCO were down 1 percent on Sunday, while Kuwait's main index .KWSE ended slightly higher 0.04 percent.

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