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Sun 10 Aug 2014 02:18 PM

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Kuwait's KIPCO rejects $3.2bn bid for pay-TV unit OSN

Unnamed US private equity firm has takeover offer turned down by OSN's parent company

Kuwait's KIPCO rejects $3.2bn bid for pay-TV unit OSN
David Butorac, CEO of Orbit Showtime Network. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) has rejected a $3.2 billion takeover offer from a US private equity firm for its pay-television subsidiary OSN, the parent company said in a bourse filing on Sunday.

KIPCO owns 60.5 percent of OSN while Saudi Arabia-based Mawarid Group holds the remainder. They jointly refused an offer from the US firm, which was not identified in the statement.

The offer comprised $2.4 billion in cash and a further $800 million subject to certain conditions, according to KIPCO. It said the offer was for between 51 and 100 percent of OSN; it did not elaborate.

Dubai-based brokerage Arqaam Capital last year valued OSN at $4.3 billion.

The TV company has operations across the Middle East and North Africa, and posted earnings of KD139.5 million ($494 million) in 2013.

KIPCO said early this year that OSN might float on the London stock exchange in 2014, but OSN chief executive David Butorac told reporters in May that a public share sale was not imminent.

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Rachel 6 years ago

Objectively considering OSN values, services quality, content, their biased staff... I can easily advance that OSN has no future and OSN owners know that for a while. As to the related offer, I can just say that:

There is no offer at all on the table. This is their summer game they try to trap someone to buy them. But business figures speak for themselves, OSN is not successful.

KIPCCO needs to understand that OSN needs Arab management to manage it as ONLY Arab executives understand what is good for subscribers. Then we could talk about buyout and IPO.

We are in 2014 and we have very talented Arab executives (from UAE to Morocco) who could successfully run this company which really deserves to be successful just like its counterparts in Asia, Europe, US and Latin America...or just look next door at Aljazeera.

This is my advice to KIPCCO and look I am even not charging for it.