Secret local Multichoice’s GOtv shareholder revealed


Multichoice Group top executive Stephen Isaboke. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Multichoice Group top executive Stephen Isaboke is the 30 percent local shareholder in GOtv Kenya Limited, according to regulatory filings seen by the Business Daily.

The multinational Pay-TV provider had earlier revealed it ceded the stake to comply with local ownership rules but did not name the investor who took up the shares at no cost.

Filings show that Mr Isaboke, a Kenyan, holds 30.0003 percent non-cumulative redeemable preference shares and 30.0187 percent ordinary shares in the company.

Multichoice Africa Holdings B.V is the controlling shareholder with 69.9997 percent non-cumulative redeemable preference shares and 69.9813 percent ordinary shares.

Mr Isaboke currently heads MultiChoice Africa’s regulatory function across the continent. GOtv Kenya Limited issued paid-up capital is Sh17.6 million, the filings show.

Multichoice, which runs premium digital satellite pay television brand DStv and mass market-focused GOtv, appointed Mr Isaboke to head its African market regulatory function in 2018.

He became the first Kenyan to join MultiChoice’s top organ that oversees the overall business.

He joined the firm in January 2008 as general manager for the Kenyan market before being promoted to head the operations in East Africa in November 2011.

Multichoice did not say why it did not receive cash in the deal or if it could get money from Mr Isaboke at a future date.

Companies usually allocate shares to new investors in exchange for cash. In other circumstances, firms may allot shares to settle a debt or in exchange for stock in another company.

In the different scenarios, there is an exchange of economic value.

Under local ownership rule changes that were published by the ICT ministry in 2020, the country's foreign-owned firms in the communications and mobile money sector must ensure they have a 30 percent local ownership.

GOtv is one of the most popular entertainment brands in Kenya, catering to the middle class with cut-price packages.

Its offerings include GOtv LITE and GOtv VALUE, which are priced at Sh199 and Sh550 respectively per month.

Other packages are GOtv PLUS (Sh870), GOtv MAX (Sh1,150) and GOtv SUPA (Sh1,499).

The push to introduce local ownership is mirrored in other African countries like Uganda where telecoms firms are required to cede a 20 percent stake to local investors.

MTN Uganda was recently listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange through an initial public offering that saw it sell a 12.96 percent stake as it sought to comply with the rules.

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