Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk dumps R1.6 billion in shares while company is on buyback spree

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk sold R1.6 billion in Naspers shares over the last two weeks when the company was on a buyback spree.

Over the last few days, Naspers announced that Van Dijk sold his shares in a few tranches:

  • 29 August 2022 – Sold 69,225 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R175.6 million.
  • 30 August 2022 – Sold 109,393 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R268.3 million.
  • 31 August 2022 – Sold 233,835 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R571.3 million.
  • 1 September 2022 – Sold 106,377 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R255.9 million.
  • 2 September 2022 – Sold 123,995 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R291.9 million
  • 5 September 2022 – Sold 32,590 Naspers ordinary shares to the value of R77.2 million.

The sale was related to the exercise of 832,000 ordinary share options that Van Dijk was awarded in 2014, which vested over a 3-year period from 2017 to 2019.

It comes amidst a share repurchase programme where Naspers and Prosus sold a portion of its Tencent stake to buy back its own stock.

When the share repurchasing programme was announced in June, Van Dijk said it was designed to unlock significant value for our shareholders over time.

According to Van Dijk, it was designed to increase net asset value per share, taking advantage of Prosus’s and Naspers’s trading discounts to their underlying net asset value.

The repurchase programme is open-ended and will run as long as elevated levels of the trading discount to the group’s underlying net asset value persist.

“We expect the programme to significantly increase the net asset values per share for Prosus and Naspers,” Van Dijk said.

Many people were surprised to see that Van Dijk was selling his shares when the repurchase programme was ongoing.

Counterpoint value fund manager Piet Viljoen said when a company buys back shares and the CEO aggressively sells into it, it is never a good look.

“But then again, Naspers has never cared much about good looks, has it?” he added.

Viljoen said although Van Dijk doesn’t engender high trust levels, in this case, he will follow the Naspers CEO’s action and also sell his Naspers shares.