Lebanon Businessnews News

Econet to merge
with Cablevision
Internet meets wireless television
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GlobalCom acquired Cablevision through its subsidiary Econet. Cablevision is a major wireless channel distribution company. The two entities will merge in 2018. The deal is estimated at $10 million. None of the parties will confirm the value of the transaction.

Habib Torbey, CEO at GlobalCom Holding, said that Econet will achieve a substantial increase in its market share through the acquisition. Collective number of subscribers for both companies reaches now 42,000, as the acquired clientele base for Cablevision exceeds 35,000 subscribers.

Business operations will flow as usual for Cablevision’s clients regardless of the initiation of the merging process, expected to be finalized in the first half of 2018. The integration process started with a full senior managerial shuffle within Cablevision.

Bassam Jaber, appointed Chief Executive Officer for Econet and Cablevision, said that subscribers will benefit from integrated services, where more high definition channels and packages will be added. Jaber said that the list is expected to reach 300 channels, without any negative effect on the quality of the service.

Internet subscribers through fiber optics, expected to be starting in mid-2018, will benefit from the Internet protocol TV (IPTV), where TV channels are streamed through the fiber optic network. They will have also access to video-on-demand services, which is being currently prepared by GlobalCom.

Jaber said that all subscribers linked to the fiber optic network, not limited to GlobalCom Data Services' (GDS) clientele, will be capable to benefit from the online bundle, for a price range between $15 and $45 per month. GDS is a subsidiary of GlobalCom selected by the Ministry of Telecommunication to deploy fiber optic networks in Beirut and surrounding areas.

Torbey said that the improvement in content continues to be a priority, where GlobalCom is currently negotiating with the Qatari beIN Media Group, and confident to reach a deal to distribute beIN’s sports channels locally.

Globalcom is a provider of Internet, Data Communications, and multimedia solutions. It is the majority shareholder of its operating companies GDS, IDM, Cyberia, Intrasky, EcoNet, and Right & Rights. It is chaired by Antoine Fadel. Globalcom is a holding company, part of a conglomerate of companies owned by Ralph (Raphael) Audi and the Abou Adal family through a series of parent holding companies that include Connect Lebanon, ATG, MDS, and HOLFIN.

Cablevision is owned by Al Mal Investment Holding which is owned by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and heirs of his late father. It is managed by Walid Sabeh Ayoun.

Reported by Samer Rasbey
Date Posted: Dec 04, 2017
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