| March 7
March 7 Liberty Global, the
international telecommunications company controlled by American
tycoon John Malone, and Zain, a Kuwait-based
telecommunications operator, are investing in iflix, a Malaysian
provider of streaming video, iflix announced on Tuesday.
Liberty and Zain, along with existing shareholders Sky PLC
, venture capital firm Catcha Group and Los
Angeles-based merchant bank Evolution Media Capital, invested
$90 million in iflix, the companies announced Tuesday. The
companies did not disclose how much each invested and a
spokesman for iflix declined to comment on that.
A Liberty spokesman declined to comment on the size of its
investment. An e-mail to Zain was not immediately returned.
Liberty and Zain are investing in iflix at a time when more
people are watching their favorite shows and movies online.
Two-year old iflix, which has 4.5 million customers, is
hoping to be what Netflix is in the United States to
viewers in emerging markets, who mainly use their phones to
watch shows and movies, Patrick Grove, CEO of Catcha Group and
founder of iflix, told Reuters last week.
The streaming video provider, which has deals with more than
170 studios and distributors such as Viacom Inc's
Paramount and MGM, is currently in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand
and Philippines and is planning to enter the Middle East and
Africa over the next few months, Grove told Reuters.
For telecommunications companies like Liberty Global,
investing in iflix provides insight into the growing streaming
video market as it builds its own video entertainment offerings,
Bruce Mann, chief programming officer at Liberty said in a
statement about the investment.
In September, Liberty struck a deal with Netflix to offer
the streaming video service to all of its customers via cable
set top boxes.
(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Bernard Orr)