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MTG offloads loss-making African TV operations

Sweden-based media group MTG has completed the sale of its loss-making free TV channels and production business in Ghana and Nigeria, with a further deal in Tanzania expected to close soon.

Econet Media – the regional telco, pay TV operator and owner of the Kwesé Sports service – is buying the African operations for an undisclosed sum

MTG runs free and pay channels across a large part of Europe, and has gone through a sustained period of restructuring, with a swathe of job losses last year. The company said that the African sales were part of that “transformation from a traditional broadcaster into a digital video entertainment company”.

Neither the Ghana or Nigeria TV and production businesses were generating a profit, recording a combined EBIT loss of SEK11 million (US$1.2 million) between January and November this year. They generated revenues of SEK18 million.

MTG said that the disposal of its TV operations in Ghana and Nigeria will result in a net loss of SEK24 million, which will be recorded in its next quarterly results. The sale of the Tanzania operations is expected to be complete in 1Q17 and have a minimal financial impact.

MTG African business included the free TV channels Viasat1 Ghana and TV1 in Tanzania, as well as Modern African Productions.

Joseph Hundah exited his role as CEO and executive VP of MTG Africa earlier this year and was replaced by EVP Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

Hundah, a former CEO of pay TV operator Multichoice’s Nigerian operation, had been running MTG’s Africa business since 2011.