Tiso Blackstar's films unit recently produced The Wound (Inxeba), Singleholic and Kings of Mulberry Street. They now plan to invest in 'at least five new local and international co-production films in 2019 to further diversify revenue streams'.
"We’re also providing some funding to African-American producers who are filming locally for global release," Bonamour says.
The group, which also represents Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox, will have global equity in these films and will distribute them in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
According to Tiso Blackstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have said they plan to offer more local content in South Africa and other African markets. Netflix said earlier in September it had bought the global rights to its first Nigerian film, Lionheart, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Bonamour says Tiso Blackstar’s record label business, Gallo, already distributed about 47% of its music via digital channels such as Apple Music and Spotify. "That percentage is expected to grow further as these services gain more traction," he says.
The group says its operating profits rose 12.7% to R245-million in June, while revenues were up just 0.9% 'in a challenging economic environment'. The group’s retail marketing and packaging company, Hirt & Carter, grew revenues by 10.3% to R1.9-billion.
Bonamour says Tiso Blackstar had made 'progress' towards the sale of noncore assets. It plans to sell its interests in Kagiso Tiso Holdings and steel firms Robor and CSI. The companies have a combined net carrying value of R1.4-billion. "We’re hoping to wrap CSI up in the next few weeks," he says.
"The Robor business was in the process of merging a facility with Macsteel. Once that was complete, Tiso Blackstar would be able to sell its 47% stake in Robor to an interested buyer," he adds.
Kagiso Tiso Holdings' shareholders has also appointed an adviser to assist them with 'ways to unlock value'. Tiso Blackstar aims to have a deal finalised by the end of June 2019.
For more information, visit www.tisoblackstar.com.