TopTV hits rock bottom

2012-12-09 10:00

Come April next year, more than 145 000 TopTV subscribers could be watching a blank screen if the satellite channel does not get out of debt.

The pay TV network’s days are numbered unless it can find an investor to save the day.

TopTV, launched in April 2010, is currently operating under business rescue status after getting into alleged debt of about R400 million.

Interim chief executive Eddie Mbalo, who was supposedly roped in by the Industrial Development Corporation to save the company from possible liquidation, said spirits were still high at the company.

“Today (Friday) I addressed the staff, informing them on possible investors and that we are not going to be liquidating the company. We have consulted with 99% of our creditors and they are 100% behind us getting back on par,” he said.

The status of business rescue means that the company is being monitored and has been given a set amount of time to recover from its financial distress. In this case, it’s six months from end-October. This was confirmed by Mbalo.

According to inside sources, “the company had been waiting for investors for a long time and if they don’t get investment by December 14, they will have to shut down”.

City Press has also reliably established that the company’s profits have dropped from R40 million to less than half of that. It has also shed about 50 000 subscribers in just over a year.

In a statement dated October 31, Mbalo is quoted as saying that “since the start of the turnaround programme, the bottom line has improved, and some limited funding has been sourced and injected into the business”.

While 260 employees might be jittery about losing their jobs, Mbalo remained optimistic and laughed off possible liquidation.

“The company will continue to function as normal, and will continue with its plans to launch a number of exciting initiatives in the lead-up to the festive season,” he said.

- City Press

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