Discovery to acquire Dubai media company
Dubai, November 28, 2012
Discovery Communications, a global mass media and entertainment company, has entered into a deal to acquire Dubai-based Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt, including its flagship TV network, Fatafeat, a leading food network in the Middle East.
Announcing this on Wednesday, Mark Hollinger, CEO of Discovery Networks International said the transaction is a targeted step by Discovery to further extend its reach in the growing Mena television market, and to further complement and strengthen its existing portfolio of female-targeted lifestyle Pay TV brands, including TLC and Real Time, which are now available in more than 150 countries outside the US.
Hollinger said, “Discovery’s guiding principle has always been to customize our strategy on a region-by-region and market-by-market basis to build the strongest global nonfiction media company bar none. "
"The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proven popular with our viewers around the globe, including on Real Time in Italy and the UK and on TLC in Poland, Latin America and India," stated Hollinger.
The acquisition also will provide access to a vast library of cooking recipes and shows and the company’s production facility, he added.
Commenting on the tieup, Takhayal CEO Youssef El-Deeb said, "We are honoured to become part of Discovery Communications. The core expertise of our team is its great creativity and dedication, and this combination has enabled us to achieve very clear brand positioning and stand out amongst the hundreds of Arab TV channels as the leading the lifestyle brand across the Middle East."
"We have had great success with our TV brand Fatafeat, which has become one of the leading TV channels in the Middle East since it launched five years ago, and our slogan ‘Al Hayat Helwa’ (Life is Wonderful) which has been the driving force across our business and we are excited by how the rich expertise of Discovery will enable us to take the business to the next level."
Fatafeat broadcasts to approximately 55 million TV households in the Mena and the in-house studio contains a library of 700 hours of programs, which is added to by 150-200 new hours each year.
The popular line-up of shows includes Teslam El Ayadi (family cooking show), Matbakhna El Arabi (Our Arabian Cuisine hosted by award-winning chef, Mohammad Orfali), Shourba Wi Naknaka (Soups and Snacks), Houriyat Al Matbakh (Arabic and international cooking) and Wala Bil Ahlam (‘Dream Desserts’ from Egyptian award winning chef, Nermine Hanno).
Takhayal Entertainment will be managed as part of Discovery’s Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region led by Kasia Kieli, the president & managing director.-TradeArabia News Service