South-African media and technology group Naspers acquires a strategic stake in Germany's First Mobile TV Operator MFD
Germany's pioneering mobile television company MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland GmbH announced that listed South-African Naspers, through its subsidiary MIH Group, has made a strategic investment in the company in exchange for a 37.53% shareholding. The invested amount was not disclosed.
MFD's mobile TV service, “watcha”, comprises five television channels and one visual radio channel. The company has established a broadcasting network in 16 metropolitan areas across Germany. MFD is the exclusive holder of a nation-wide digital mobile broadcasting license in Germany based on the DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting) standard and is also applying for a DVB-H (digital video broadcasting for handhelds) license currently being tendered by Federal State Media Authorities in Germany.
Naspers, which had revenues of USD 2.2bn in 2005 and is listed at the Johannesburg stock exchange (market cap of USD 9bn), has been trialling mobile TV in South Africa and Africa over the past two years and has also been working with MFD through its subsidiary Irdeto since the launch of MFD’s mobile TV service in June 2006. MIH Group is a multinational media company with principal operations in electronic media, including pay-TV, internet and instant-messaging subscriber platforms and the provision of related technologies.
goetzpartners Corporate Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to management and shareholders of MFD, including Private Equity and Venture Capital investor Grazia Equity as well as two family offices. The transaction was signed in April and finalised yesterday upon regulatory approval from German media competition authority KEK. The role of goetzpartners was a determining factor in the conclusion of this challenging transaction through both its in-depth understanding of the Media and Telecommunication sector and its ability to set up, coordinate and conclude complex, cross-border transactions.
About MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland GmbH
Founded in September 2005, MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland GmbH is Germany's first mobile TV provider. At the beginning of June of 2006 the independent company launched the commercial mobile television service “watcha” which enables television and radio content to be received on mobile devices such as telephones. The company, with offices in Dusseldorf and Cologne, has DMB broadcasting licenses for all of Germany. As a technology neutral provider the company has also applied for DVB-H broadcast licenses from local Federal State Media Authorities. “watcha” distribution partners include the service providers debitel, mobilcom and the Drillisch subsidiary simply.
Naspers is a multinational media company with principal operations in electronic media (including paytelevision, internet and instant-messaging subscriber platforms and the provision of related technologies) and print media (including the publishing, distribution and printing of magazines, newspapers and books, and the provision of private education services). Naspers' most significant operations are located in South Africa, where it generates most of its revenues, with other operations located elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, Greece, China, the Netherlands, the United States and Thailand. Naspers creates media content, builds brand names around it, and manages the platforms distributing the content. Naspers delivers its content in a variety of forms and through a variety of channels, including television platforms, internet services, newspapers, magazines and books.
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Dr Gernot Wunderle
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