Bahrain-based Orbit and Dubai-headquartered Showtime have merged to create a new company.
According to the deal, Orbit Group, a member of the Riyadh based Mawarid Group and Showtime Arabia, a subsidiary of KIPCO will be equal partners. Showtime head Marc-Antoine d’Halluin has been appointed CEO of the new company.
Samir Abdulhadi, president and CEO of Orbit Group, clarified that other Orbit Group operations, such as Media Gates, Orbit Data Systems and Noorsat are not part of the merger.
“They will continue to be managed by their respective management teams independent of the new company. Media Gates, Orbit’s Arabic production company, will continue to distribute the Arabic channel line up exclusively through the newly created platform,” Abdulhadi added.
New customers will be able to subscribe to new, enhanced packages from August 1, while existing Orbit and Showtime subscribers will have the option to either benefit from special upgrade offers or retain their current subscription packages at current prices, should they choose to do so.
Commenting on the merger Faisal Al Ayyar, KIPCO’s vice chairman, said both companies had been eyeing merger opportunities for some time.
“Showtime and Orbit were pioneers of the region’s pay-TV market and we’ve both been calling for consolidation of the market for some time. Joining forces in this way is good news for customers, staff and the regional television industry,” he explained.
Marc-Antoine d’Halluin stated that the new company will continue to run its core operations and corporate functions from both Bahrain as well as Dubai.
“We will bring together experienced and talented employees who are tasked with extracting significant synergies and delivering the best value from this merger for all our stakeholders and customers. We look forward to updating the market on this exciting merger and future plans,” he said.