Saudi Arabian media giant MBC quietly bought a 14% stake in Anghami

Anghami co-founders Elie Habib and Eddy Maroun.

Saudi Arabian media giant MBC Group has quietly acquired a 13.7% stake in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) music streaming service Anghami.

MBC Group, through its MBC Ventures arm, purchased 4,074,533 ordinary shares in Nasdaq-listed Anghami, an ownership filing by Anghami with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

Financial terms of that investment were not disclosed, but based on Anghami’s closing price of $1.00 on March 19, the last trading day before the transaction was disclosed, the purchase was worth roughly $4.074 million.

Anghami’s share price has rose 59% on Wednesday (March 20) after MBC’s stake in the company became publicly known. It closed at $1.59, bringing the value of MBC’s 13.7% stake to $6.48 million.

Anghami’s share price at market close Wednesday was the highest level since December 13, 2023.

MBC Group, formerly known as Middle East Broadcasting Center, is a state-owned media conglomerate in Saudi Arabia. The company, which owns a number of TV channels, radio stations, studios and other entertainment brands, went public on the Saudi Exchange in January.

Its IPO was oversubscribed by 66x, or by SAR 54.5 billion (approx. USD $14.53 billion). The company raised SAR 831 million ($221.6 million) from the IPO, with an implied market capitalization of SAR 8.3 billion ($2.21 billion).

This strategic partnership between a long-established media powerhouse and Anghami, a rapidly growing digital platform, signifies a significant development for the MENA entertainment industry.

Anghami, founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib in Lebanon, amassed a subscriber base exceeding 1.73 million users across the MENA region as of the third quarter of 2023. The platform offers a vast library of Arabic and international music, catering to diverse tastes. 

However, Anghami faces stiff competition from global giants like Spotify, which has also set its sights on the lucrative MENA market. Over a year ago, Spotify was reported to be eyeing an acquisition of Anghami, although no deal has come to fruition since then.

IFPI identified MENA as the world’s fastest-growing music market in 2021, and the third-fastest in 2022.

The partnership with MBC Group provides Anghami with several advantages. MBC boasts a well-established distribution network across the Middle East, encompassing popular free-to-air channels and on-demand streaming services like Shahid VIP.

This could expand Anghami’s reach and user base. Additionally, MBC’s expertise in content creation could lead to collaborations on original music programming or exclusive content deals with artists, further enhancing Anghami’s offerings.

For MBC Group, the investment in Anghami will expand its foothold in the media streaming market and strengthens its position as a leader in the the region’s media landscape. The deal also allows MBC to tap into Anghami’s younger user demographic and potentially leverage the platform for promoting its own content libraries.

Last week, Anghami announced that it had renewed and expanded its existing partnership with Arabic record label Rotana Music to include live concerts and artist collaborations.

Music Business Worldwide

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