Home Business e&’s E-Vision and ADQ to acquire majority stake in STARZPLAY ARABIA

e&’s E-Vision and ADQ to acquire majority stake in STARZPLAY ARABIA

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ABU DHABI, 17th March, 2022 (WAM) — E-Vision, from e& (previously known as Etisalat Group), and ADQ today announced the signing of a binding agreement to acquire a majority equity stake of around 57 percent in STARZPLAY ARABIA.

The e&-led consortium will acquire a controlling stake in STARZPLAY ARABIA based on a post-money valuation of US$420 million, while also investing E-Vision’s existing stake and secondary investments to join the other existing shareholders, including STARZ and SEQ Investors. STARZ and its parent company Lionsgate will maintain commercial agreements for content licensing to the venture. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and certain administrative procedures.

Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, e& life, and Chairman of E-Vision, said, “STARZPLAY ARABIA is a leading video streaming platform in MENA. This acquisition is a major milestone for E-Vision and will be a catalyst for the newly formed e& life consumer digital vertical in e&. This investment further strengthens our service offering and significantly enhances STARZPLAY ARABIA’s positioning across the entire MENA region.”

Al Shamsi added, “STARZPLAY ARABIA is a great platform for us to work closely with to customise the content options for our customers. With 5G’s super-fast download speeds and low latency, we have the perfect opportunity to drive the streaming experience to new heights with viewers being able to have immersive experiences within their favourite shows and movies using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). This new development is expected to accelerate E-Vision’s transition from focusing on the telecom network business to providing also Direct to Consumer (DTC) streaming services to consumers across the MENA region.”

Jaap Kalkman, Group Chief Investment Officer at ADQ, said, “The investment in STARZPLAY ARABIA provides ADQ access to one of the leading Subscription Video on Demand and OTT service providers in the region. With its state-of-the-art technology, distribution strength and compelling and engaging content, STARZPLAY ARABIA has developed a unique market positioning in the MENA region and is well positioned for further growth.”

Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of STARZ, said, “We’re pleased to continue our productive partnership with E-Vision while adding ADQ to the venture, partners whose local market expertise will help us continue to accelerate the growth of the business together and create enormous value.”

Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-founder of STARZPLAY ARABIA, said, “The investment by E-Vision and ADQ will enable us to grow further by focusing on original content production and advanced customer personalisation.”

STARZPLAY ARABIA has close to 2 million subscribers across 19 countries, giving E-Vision an opportunity to further strengthen its lead in content aggregation and access the fast growth video DTC streaming business in MENA region. This will enable the launch of new product lines, expand geographic reach and access to advanced technical capabilities. The acquisition provides potential for international expansion, leveraging STARZPLAY ARABIA’s reach across 20 global telcos.

With this joint investment, STARZPLAY ARABIA can leverage media content delivered by both E-Vision and ADQ portfolio companies, further optimising its content acquisition spending. Additionally, STARZPLAY ARABIA will also gain significant scale through immediate access to e&’s vast customer base.

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