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.