Naspers to exit pay-TV arena with MultiChoice listing | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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South African conglomerate Naspers is to spin-off pay-TV giant MultiChoice – along with its DStv, SuperSport and Showmax assets – in a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing next year.

MultiChoice logo 5 Sept 2018The new company, called MultiChoice Group, will include MultiChoice South Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Botswana, MultiChoice Namibia, NMS Insurance Services SA, the African division of Showmax, Irdeto Holdings and Irdeto South Africa.

“This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as it continues its evolution into a global consumer Internet company,” Naspers said in a statement to shareholders. “Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling is expected to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top-40 JSE-listed African entertainment company.”

The move would create additional value for Phuthuna Nathi, a black economic empowerment initiative, with Naspers allocating an additional 5% stake in MultiChoice South Africa to the initiative’s shareholders for no additional consideration. This would increase Phuthuna Nathi’s stake in the South African unit to 25%, said Naspers.

Naspers pay-TV division last year generated revenue of ZAR47.1 billion and trading profit of ZAR6.1 billion, adding a total of 1.5 million subscribers. It employs more than 9,000 staff across sub Saharan Africa and has a multi-platform reach of 13.5 million households.

“Listing and unbundling MultiChoice Group is intended to create a leading entertainment business listed on the JSE that is profitable and cash generative. We offer an unmatched selection of local and original content, as well as a world-class sports offering. Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to take the company forward. I am particularly pleased that this transaction will further enhance the value for Phuthuma Nathi shareholders,” said Imtiaz Patel, CEO, Naspers Video Entertainment.

“There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now’s cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360 security suite will provide a unique offering.”

Naspers, which is a major investor in Chinese Internet giant Tencent, said it would continue to invest in South Africa through interests in ecommerce businesses such as Takealot, Mr D Food, PayU, OLX, Property24, and AutoTrader SA.

Naspers will retain its own listing on the JSE, as well as its interest in Media24.