Sale of DStv-owner one step closer


Vivendi’s Canal+’s mandatory all-cash offer for MultiChoice of R125 a share, which was first announced in April this year, will open on Wednesday.

The offer, valuing the company at $3 billion, will close on April 25, and the results will be released on regulatory wires on April 29, according to the combined circular that was published on Tuesday.

The French firm already owns 45.2% of MultiChoice shares after investing €1.2 billion (R24.28 billion) into the company, said Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada on a call. 

Canal+ first began buying shares in MultiChoice from the market in 2020 in a bid to grow its business in Africa, home to the fastest-growing population in the world.

It announced plans in February to take over the Johannesburg-listed broadcaster and when its shareholding surpassed 35%, it was required by South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel to make a mandatory offer.

Canal+ and MultiChoice are working on a structure to deal with South Africa’s foreign ownership restrictions, Saada said without giving more details.

MultiChoice shares were down 2.6% in Johannesburg at 10.40 a.m. on Tuesday, giving the company a market value of 49 billion rand. 

Vivendi was already preparing a listing for Canal+ by early next year, Saada said, as part of a plan to split into four publicly traded units as the media conglomerate seeks better value from its assets.

The company also plans to list the new combined entity, comprising MultiChoice and Canal+, in Europe and Johannesburg, Saada said. The company will bolster the new entity’s technology stack with additional investment, he added. 

Formed in South Africa in 1985, MultiChoice expanded across Africa in the early 1990s and was spun off from Naspers in 2019.

The latest deal could see a combination of Canal+ operations with MultiChoice creating a group with almost 50 million subscribers and the resources to invest more in local content and sports.

A new entity is needed to effectively compete on content buying, said Saada.


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