e&’s E-Vision, ADQ ink deal to acquire majority stake in STARZPLAY ARABIA

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE-based multinational telecom services operator e&’s entertainment arm, E-Vision, and Abu Dhabi’s largest holding company ADQ have signed a binding agreement to acquire a majority equity stake in video streaming service STARZPLAY ARABIA.

The e&-led consortium will acquire a 57 percent stake in the STARZPLAY ARABIA based on a post-money valuation of $420 million, e& (formerly known as Etisalat) said in a statement.

Other shareholders of STARZPLAY ARABIA include Starz, SEQ Investors, and E-Vision. STARZ and its parent company Lionsgate will maintain commercial agreements for content licensing to the venture.

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and certain administrative procedures, according to the statement.

Khalifa Al Shamsi
Khalifa Al Shamsi
CEO – e& life
Chairman – E-Vision

“STARZPLAY ARABIA is a leading video streaming platform in MENA. This acquisition is a major milestone for E-Vision and will be a catalyst for the newly formed e& life consumer digital vertical in e&. This investment further strengthens our service offering and significantly enhances STARZPLAY ARABIA’s positioning across the entire MENA region. With 5G’s super-fast download speeds and low latency, we have the perfect opportunity to drive the streaming experience to new heights with viewers being able to have immersive experiences within their favorite shows and movies using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). This new development is expected to accelerate E-Vision’s transition from focusing on the telecom network business to providing also Direct to Consumer (DTC) streaming services to consumers across the MENA region.”

Mr. Jaap Kalkman, Group Chief Investment Officer at ADQ said that, “The investment in STARZPLAY ARABIA provides ADQ access to one of the leading Subscription Video on Demand and OTT service providers in the region. With its state-of-the-art technology, distribution strength, and compelling and engaging content, STARZPLAY ARABIA has developed a unique market positioning in the MENA region and is well-positioned for further growth.”

Mr. Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-founder of STARZPLAY ARABIA has noted that “the investment by E-Vision and ADQ will enable us to grow further by focusing on original content production and advanced customer personalization.”

“We’re pleased to continue our productive partnership with E-Vision while adding ADQ to the venture, partners whose local market expertise will help us continue to accelerate the growth of the business together and create enormous value,” commented Mr. Jeffrey Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer of STARZ.

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