Naspers to list and unbundle MultiChoice Group

Naspers will list its video entertainment business separately on the JSE as the MultiChoice Group.

Yesterday, Naspers announced its intention to list its video entertainment business separately on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as MultiChoice Group, which will include MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and Irdeto.

Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE as well as its interests in Media24

Naspers CEO, Bob van Dijk said:

“This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company. Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top 40 JSE-listed African entertainment company.”

The company will unbundle the shares in its business to its shareholders with limited leverage, providing it with the necessary financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities in African video entertainment. 

Video entertainment CEO, Imtiaz Patel said:

“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.” 

Prior to the unbundling, a five percent stake in MultiChoice South Africa will be allocated to Phuthuma Nathi (PN) shareholders, to increase MultiChoice Group’s BBBEE shareholding, PN’s upside in future value creation, and to ensure continued compliance with regulatory requirements post unbundling. The PN shareholders’ interest in MultiChoice South Africa and its dividend flows is expected to increase by 25 percent. 

The business is also positioning itself for the future by offering online streaming services, including Showmax and DStv Now.

“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’ Video Entertainment business is one of the fastest growing pay-TV operators globally and its multi-platform business entertains 13.5 million households across Africa. In the last financial year, the business added 1.5 million subscribers, and generated revenue of ZAR47.1 billion and trading profit of ZAR6.1 billion. It employs more than 9,000 people in Africa and indirectly creates economic prosperity for over 20,000 more who are employed by its various partners and suppliers across the continent.

The listing and unbundle is expected to happen within the first half of 2019, subject to the approval of the requisite regulatory authorities.