TV Cabo buys TVTEL

Investment

TV Cabo, the Portuguese cable operator with a significant presence in Lusophone Africa, looks set to buy rival Portuguese satellite Pay TV operator TVTEL with funding from investment bank CaixaBI. The move is yet another sign of consolidation in the Portuguese Pay TV market where TV Cabo competes with Cabovisaô, some strong regional cable operators and the relatively new satellite and cable platforma TVTEL in a country of little more than ten million people.

TVTEL operates a triple play offer both oversatellite and cable. According to information sent by the Stock Exchange Commission TV Cabo will acquire a stake of 20% and on its side CaixaBI will get 80% of TVTEL. But TV Cabo also signed an agreement to buy the bank’s 80% stake in order to have 100% of TVTEL in the near future. While Portugal's Competition Authority has to give the final OK to this operation, most commentators seem to be of the opinion it will go ahead without problem.

PTV (TV Cabo's company owner) said it planned to integrate TVTEL's offering into TV Cabo. The integration, the company said, would generate interesting synergies for the acquisition of rights as well as for marketing strategies and for the costs of maintaining the network.

TV Cabo has two cable operations in Africa, one in Angola and the other in Mozambique, both of which are joint ventures with the incumbent telco in each country. Both have subscriber bases that are almost entirely within the capital cities but in Luanda the subscription base is much smaller than satellite operator DStv but in Maputo with 20,000 subscribers, it is much larger. TV Cabo has recently applied to the Mozambique regulator INACOM for a voice licence so that it can offer a triple play product.