China’s StarTimes interested in businesses for sale in Portugal

13 July 2015

StarTimes, a Chinese that has television distribution operations in Africa, has been studying the accounts of two companies that the European Commission ordered Altice to sell in order to buy PT Portugal, Portuguese daily newspaper Público reported.

The European Commission approved the purchase of PT Portugal by Altice for 7.4 million euros, stipulating as conditions that the French group would have to sell Cabovisão and Oni, committments, moreover, proposed in advance to ensure a rapid decision by the Community executive.

The paper said that StarTimes is thus competing with Vodafone, which has been identified as a natural candidate for acquisition of Cabovisão to strengthen its commitment to the television business.

Although the deadline imposed by Brussels is not known – dates are not revealed so as not to weaken the position of the seller – the sale of Cabovisão and Oni is expected to be concluded in July.

Founded in 1988, headquartered in Beijing and owned by private investors, StarTimes describes itself as the “most powerful and influential company in the business of distribution of television and the first digital television operator in Africa.”

It started international expansion in 2007 with the creation of Star Africa Media, to enter Rwanda and currently has representation in 23 African countries and pay-TV operations in 12 countries, where it has “more than 4 million subscribers.”

Articles published in the African press reported that StarTimes has the support of the Export-Import Bank of China and the China-Africa Development Fund, set up by the China Development Bank, which has guaranteed it the financial breathing room to grow in Africa. (macauhub/CN/PT)