OSN acquires South Asian entertainment platform

27 August 2013

Pay-TV provider plans to spend billions of dollars on acquisitioning content and rules out flotation

Pay-TV network OSN has fully acquired South Asian content provider Pehla Media & Entertainment, adding nearly 40 channels to the company’s portfolio.

The acquired channels feature content including Bollywood and premium cricket, and are broadcast in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Malayam.

“It was an obvious synergy for us to grow across the region, which has one of the largest language diasporas,” says David Butorac, chief executive officer (CEO) of OSN. “We are still predominantly a Middle East service, but we realise there are large pockets of language skills within the region.”

Butorac says OSN is currently not planning other acquisitions, but remains “very open-minded” to future opportunities.

While the network does not release specific numbers as a private company, he says it is on target to spend more than a billion dollars on acquisitioning content through channels or specific content, as well as commissioning content.

Butorac rules out any short-term plans to float the company, despite OSN’s Kuwaiti owners, Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco) and Mawarid Group, appointing the UK’s Rothschild to study the possibility for an initial public offering (IPO) in June. “There is no IPO on the agenda,” he says. “Ultimately, what the shareholders of the company did was they appointed Rothschild to assist in reviewing the strategic options for our company moving forward. As it stands today there are no plans for an IPO and we have no timetable [for one].”


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