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MultiChoice extends Patel’s tenure as chair to conclude Canal+ deal

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 02 Apr 2024
MultiChoice's offices in Randburg.
MultiChoice's offices in Randburg.

MultiChoice, a pan-African digital satellite broadcasting, has extended Imtiaz Patel's tenure as chair until the ongoing Canal+ transaction is completed.

The firm notified shareholders today that it believes there is significant advantage to continuity at this time. It added that Patel has agreed to extend his term until the transaction is completed, or until an earlier date, based on the transaction’s progress.

“In view of the recent ruling by the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) that required Groupe Canal+ SA (Canal+) to make an immediate mandatory offer to all MultiChoice shareholders and the cautionary SENS notice issued on 5 March 2024 in this regard, the MultiChoice board has reached an agreement with Mr Imtiaz Patel to remain on as chair,” said the statement.

Canal+, a French media group, submitted a non-binding bid in February to acquire all MultiChoice's issued ordinary shares that it did not already own, subject to regulatory approval.

Canal+ owns more than 35% of shares in MultiChoice and offered R105 in cash for each ordinary share.

However, MultiChoice rejected the offer, claiming it undervalued the company, and asked the French firm to improve its offer.

Last month, the TRP ordered Canal+ to make a "mandatory offer immediately" for the remaining shares in MultiChoice, which it did not already own.

Canal+ raised its offer price to R125 per MultiChoice ordinary share.

MultiChoice and Canal+ said at the time they intend to mutually co-operate in this regard.

Multichoice had announced in September that Patel will step down on 1 April, after nearly three years as chair, to be replaced by Elias Masilela, a long-standing independent member of the board.

Africa’s biggest pay-TV group today said: “Effective 1 April 2024, Mr Elias Masilela, a long-standing non-executive director and the designated chair, will become the deputy chair of the MultiChoice board.

“He will also become lead independent director (LID) in the place of Mr Jim Volkwyn, who will be stepping down as LID but remain as a non-executive director.”

MultiChoice’s products and services, which include DStv, GOtv, Showmax and SuperSport, are used by over 23.5 million households in 50 markets across sub-Saharan Africa, according to the company.

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