Shenzhen Media buys Telkom pay-TV stake

Marcia Klein

Marcia Klein

Telkom has sold its 75percent stake in its yet-to-be-launched pay TV company Telkom Media to an unknown company.

It said yesterday that, despite an earlier decision to wind up Telkom Media, it had now found a buyer, Shenzhen Media South Africa. Spokesmen for both Telkom and Telkom Media said they did not know the company.

It was previously reported that Telkom was speaking to Shenzhen Media of China, a company that owns four radio stations broadcasting news, music and talk shows in the Shenzhen area.

Broadcast legislation prohibits a foreign company from holding more than 20percent, although Telkom has sold its 75percent stake to what appears to be a locally registered company of the same name. It is unclear if Shenzhen Media SA is majority owned by South Africans.

Telkom referred queries to a local spokesman for Shenzhen who did not answer specific questions but issued a statement saying Shenzhen Media "is pleased to acquire in partnership with its local partners the Telkom interest in Telkom Media SA".

He said the company would be renamed "as soon as all regulatory and compliance issues have been completed".

"The company has plans to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009," he said.