Kipco, which has significant ownership in a portfolio of over 60 companies operating across 24 countries, owns an 87.6% stake in OSN.
Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), the majority stakeholder in OSN, has announced that it will delay its plans to sell its shares in the pay-TV network to 2021, owing to the disruption in businesses due to Covid-19 pandemic. Kipco owns an 87.6% stake in OSN.
During the earnings call for H1 2020, Kipco Group CFO Pinak Maitra said: “Given the reality of Covid-19, where things have greatly disrupted all businesses, we believe that it [the sale] is likely to take place in 2021 but it remains at the forefront of our thinking and … actions.”
Kipco also announced a net profit of $35.7m for H1 2020, a drop of 19% compared to the $44m originally reported for the same period last year.
The company’s 2019 financials were restated due to a change in the classification of OSN after an increase in ownership.
The investor call also revealed that OSN EBITDA for the first six months of 2020 was significantly above the budget presented in November 2019 (pre-pandemic) by 94%. This continued in July 2020.
Maitra explained: “This confirms a trend that OSN established in 2019 where the actual EBITDA results were ahead of the budget by 17%. We remain hopeful that in early 2021, OSN will deliver positive EBITDA results.
“OSN is now operationally stronger with the strengthened management team, reduced cost base and improved technology platform. Furthermore, OSN is producing original non-scripted Arabic shows with the first show releasing in Q3 2020 and more [planned] for Q4 2020 and 2021. This would add further value to OSN’s existing strong content base and enhance its streaming as well as DTH demand.”
Earlier this month, OSN revealed it has started filming the Arabic version of the British reality show Come Dine with Me, titled Yalla Neta’asha in the UAE. The series will have 45 episodes.