Read time: 3 minutes

Canal+ raises its stake in MultiChoice as it seeks overall control

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 12 Apr 2024
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.

As Canal+ makes progress in its quest to acquire South African pay-TV MultiChoice, the French media giant has increased its current stake in the company to 40%.

Canal+ recently made an offer to buy Multichoice ordinary shares that it did not already own for $2.9 billion, pending regulatory clearance.

Canal+ had 35% of MultiChoice's shares at the time, but the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed pay-TV company informed shareholders today that the French media firm's stake has now increased to 40%.

MultiChoice made the announcement in accordance with Section 122(3) (b) of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008, Regulation 121(2)(b) of the Companies Regulations, 2011, and Paragraph 3.83(b) of the JSE Limited listing requirements.

The company said: “Holders of ordinary shares in MultiChoice are advised that MultiChoice has received formal notification, in terms of section 122(1) of the Act, that French media company Groupe Canal+ SA has acquired an additional interest in the ordinary shares of the company, such that the total interest in the ordinary shares of the company held by Canal+ now amounts to 40.01% of the company's total ordinary shares in issue.”

MultiChoice has since submitted the requisite notification to the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) in accordance with Section 122(3) (a) of the Act. Furthermore, as required under Section 122(3A) of the Act, MultiChoice also submitted the requisite notice with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

According to analysts, if Canal+ Group's takeover of MultiChoice Group is successful, the French group will have a staggering 90% share of the African pay TV market.

MultiChoice is Africa's leading entertainment and services platform, covering 50 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and nearby islands, with nearly 40 years of video industry expertise.

According to MultiChoice, more than 23.5 million households in 50 sub-Saharan African regions use its services, which include DStv, GOtv, Showmax, and SuperSport.

Just over a week ago, the pan-African digital satellite broadcasting business prolonged the tenure of its long-serving chairman Imtiaz Patel until the pending Canal+ merger was finalised.

The company informed shareholders that it believes continuity provides a substantial advantage at this time.

It further stated that Patel has agreed to extend his tenure until the transaction is completed, or until an earlier date, depending on the transaction's development.

Canal+ originally made a non-binding bid in February to acquire all of MultiChoice's issued ordinary shares that it did not already hold, offering $5.6 (R105) in cash for each share.

However, MultiChoice, which is led by CEO Calvo Mawela, rejected the deal, alleging it undervalued the company, and requested that the French firm enhance its offer.

In March, the TRP directed Canal+ to make a "mandatory offer immediately" for the remaining shares of MultiChoice that it did not already possess.

Canal+ increased the bid price to $6.7 (R125) per MultiChoice ordinary share.

MultiChoice and Canal+ stated at the time that they aim to cooperate to see the deal through.

Daily newsletter