Wealthy South African Entrepreneur Teams Up with Canal+ in Bid for MultiChoice as Deadline Approaches

credit : MultiChoice

Patrice Motsepe, a South African billionaire, is reportedly in discussions with Vivendi SE’s Canal+, a French media company, to potentially collaborate on a bid for MultiChoice, South Africa’s leading PayTV provider.

As the April 8 deadline for Canal+’s formal buy offer approaches, there is a need to enhance this move.

If Motsepe’s acquisition is successful, it could potentially support the French broadcaster in fulfilling the Black ownership criteria stipulated in the South African Electronic Communication Act 2005. This legislation prohibits foreigners from exerting direct or indirect control over a commercial broadcasting license and restricts their ownership of shares to a maximum of 20%.

According to Forbes, the estimated net worth of the South African billionaire is projected to reach $2.5 billion by 2024. In addition to being a prominent businessman and football administrator, he has also held the position of president at the Confederation of African Football.

Canal+, a French media company, has been steadily increasing its stake in MultiChoice from 2020. In February 2024, the company raised its stake from 20% to 35%, demonstrating a persistent commitment to its investment despite stringent regulations.

On February 1, 2024, Canal+ made a bid to acquire MultiChoice for R31.7 billion ($1.6 billion), but MultiChoice rejected the offer, citing undervaluation.

The proposal estimated MultiChoice’s value at over $2.4 billion, necessitating the company to allocate $1.7 billion for the remaining 64.99%. During that period, the Board expressed its willingness to consider proposals from any interested party willing to make a reasonable offer.

Later, the South Africa Takeover Regulation Panel stepped in, instructing Canal+ to make a bid to acquire the remaining shares of MultiChoice that it doesn’t already own. As a result of this directive, Canal+ was granted a 25-business-day extension to finalize the purchase offer, with the deadline set for April 8th.

In March 2024, the French media company raised its initial buy offer from $1.6 billion to $2.9 billion. A prominent black entrepreneur from South Africa is considering joining the bid with Canal+ as the deadline approaches. However, the discussions are at a preliminary stage and have not yet been finalized.

Canal+ is set to merge with MultiChoice, aiming to bolster its subscriber base and boost investments in local content and sports.

In addition, MultiChoice is the proud owner of Showmax, a mobile video streaming platform that outperformed Netflix in Africa in August 2023, securing a 40% market share. Showmax was introduced by MultiChoice in 2015 and has since expanded its reach to over 40 African markets.



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