Abou Hashima looks to revamp Egyptian media by becoming its most dominant player

While the 25 January Revolution signalled an end to the era of Hosni Mubarak, a new business tycoon was emerging with the aim of beginning a business empire while former Mubarak allies exited the game.

Ahmed Abou Hashima first made his mark in the steel industry. While the former star of steel Ahmed Ezz saw his decline following the ouster of Mubarak, Abou Hashima stepped in to take his place as emperor of steel.

Abou Hashima is currently chairperson and CEO of the Cairo-based Egyptian Steel, which he co-founded in 2009. He has worked in the steel industry since 1996, which was the same year he received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. In addition to Egyptian Steel, the tycoon also owns Abou Hashima Steel Group and has shares in many other major industry companies in Egypt.

Steel was not the only thing Abou Hashima had his sights set on. The tycoon would also seek to make his mark in the media industry. Challenging famed businessman Naguib Sawiris, Abou Hashima purchased the Sawiris media outlets ONTV and ONLIVE in May with the aim of developing the two channels and expanding his business in Egypt’s media industry.

At the beginning of June, Abou Hashima acquired 51% of the Presentation Advertising Agency, which broadcasts Egyptian football league matches. After that, he acquired 50% of the production company Egypt for Cinema. These purchases are added layers on top of his majority stake in Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper.

With all of these businesses under his control, Abou Hashima has becoming a dominate player in the media industry with ease.

Acquisition of ONTV

On 15 May, Egyptian Media Company, owned by Abou Hashima, signed a contract to acquire 100% of ONTV and ONLIVE, previously owned by tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

ONTV played an important role during and after the 25 January Revolution, as it hosted several political TV programmes. This is in addition to organising a presidential debate between two candidates in 2012 and broadcasting the crowd pleasing Al-Ahly and Zamalek football matches.

Egyptian Media Company also announced that it would seek to develop two additional TV channels to add to the regional media map.

Under Abou Hashima’s guide, the company announced it is looking to restore Egypt’s role as the leader in the media, television industry, and drama series production once again.

Egypt was once ranked at the top of regional media, whether in Radaman drama series or news production, but that star has been fading as of late, with other countries in the region rivalling Egypt’s media production capabilities.

The company said that that acquisition of ONTV and ONLIVE is a step towards achieving this goal, and it will be followed by other steps to support the main objective of the company.

During a meeting with employees of ONTV on 5 June, Abou Hashima said he targets to acquire the top spot among Egyptian TV channels.

He added that the aim of development is to create a media entity that provides competitive ideas and programmes, in addition to using modern technology and production techniques.

“New studios will be established and equipped with several programmes to produce good content in Egyptian media,” Abou Hashima added.

Regarding the channel’s news section, he said that this sector will be developed and supported significantly. He also suggested the possibility of signing cooperation protocols and exchanging content deals with local or international media organisations as well as recruiting new talent.


Acquisition of 51% of Presentation Sports

On 1 June, Abou Hashima finalised an agreement that would lead to his acquisition of 51% of Presentation Sports at a cost of EGP 185m.

Presentation Sports holds the rights to broadcast the Egyptian league matches.

The CEO of Presentation Sport, Mohamed Kamel, said the partnership between his company and Egyptian Media Company would aim to further develop the company from all angles.

Kamel added that his company is committed to all its contracts with clubs and channels. The goal of this partnership is to open new horizons for the future, said Kamel, by pumping more money, ideas, and programmes in the field of sports for the company’s development, especially in the areas of marketing and media.

“Partnership with Abou Hashima aims to develop Egyptian football and Egyptian sports in general because we believe in its importance as an industry in Egypt’s future,” Kamel said.