Times Media Group, Malawi's giant publishing company, has finally been given the blessings to purchase 60 percents of privately owned Matindi FM Radio's shares.
The Group, which publishes The Daily Times, The Sunday Times and Malawi News, apart from Times Television, which they rolled out early this year, had planned to open Times Radio before expressing interest to buy shares in Matindi Broadcasting Station Limited (MBSL).
MBSL wrote the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) requesting for approval for the acquisition of shares by Times Radio Limited in Matindi.
"We write to advise that approval has been granted for Times Radio Limited to acquire sixty percent (60%) shareholding in Matindi Broadcasting Station Limited.
"Times Radio Limited has been requested pursuant to clause 8.6 of your broadcasting licence to provide its Shareholding Structure, Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Articles of Association," reads MACRA's approval letter in Nyasa Times possession and signed by its Director General Andrew Kumbatira.
Meanwhile, sources privy to the deal revealed that the name of the station (Matindi FM) will not change until 2019 as active Broadcasting licences don't allow stations to change names before its licence expires.
"At the moment, the name will not change because its licence is still active and will expire in 2019. There and then Times Group will be duly allowed to change the name of the station likely to Times Radio as they will have already injected a lot of funds in the station," said one of the sources.
According to sources, Times Group is expected to inject over K150 million for acquisition of more equipment and transmitters that will be planted in several strategic sites across the country.
"With the coming in of Times Group, Matindi will now be the biggest radio station as they would like to surpass the coverage of other radio stations in the country.
"Times Group is now a complete media company in Malawi. Listeners should expect innovative and exciting programmes in as far broadcasting is concerned in the country," said the source, who asked for anonymity.
"The station is now being powered by Times Radio. Listeners shouldn't be surprised to be the station's ID promos being by 'powered by Times Radio'," he claimed.
Matindi FM owner, Elvis Nserebo declined to comment when asked to detail more regarding the transaction and referred the matter to the majority shareholder to speak, who were not immediately available.
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