Canal+ Offers to Acquire MultiChoice for R31.7bn ($1.7 Billion)

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 4 Min Read

Canal+ has announced that it has submitted a non-binding indicative offer to acquire South African pay-TV giant MultiChoice for around R31.7 billion ($1.7 Billion).

In a statement released on Thursday, Canal+ disclosed that it has sent a letter to MultiChoice’s board containing a non-binding indicative offer to purchase all of the issued ordinary shares of MultiChoice that it does not currently own, pending the necessary regulatory approvals.

The offer made by Canal+ amounts to R105 per ordinary share, indicating a premium of 40% compared to MultiChoice’s closing share price of R75 on January 31, 2024.

According to MultiChoice’s last annual report, Canal+ already possesses 140,160,277 of MultiChoice’s 442,512,678 issued shares. Acquiring the remaining shares would entail a cost close to R31.75 billion.

Over the past four years, Canal+ has executed a creeping takeover of MultiChoice, gradually acquiring MultiChoice shares on the open market until it held over 30% of the company.

Despite concerns that Canal+ may have breached South Africa’s Electronic Communications Act, MultiChoice has dismissed these worries by pointing out that its memorandum of incorporation restricts foreigners’ voting rights to 20%, aligning with the Act.

Canal+ envisions that the acquisition would elevate MultiChoice into a global-scale media company. The company emphasized that MultiChoice’s current lack of scale could pose a significant challenge if such a deal does not materialize.

In a statement, Canal+ stated, “Upon the satisfactory completion of a confirmatory due diligence, Canal+ intends to deliver a firm intention letter to the Independent Board.”

However, it also noted that there is no certainty regarding the progression of the Potential Offer or the terms of any potential transaction.

Canal+ affirmed its commitment to adhering to all laws and regulations pertaining to the South African media sector and companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The company also indicated that it is actively preparing for its listing following the unbundling announcement of its parent company, Vivendi, with the aim of eventually obtaining a listing in South Africa.

Canal+ expressed its ambition to create an African media business with enhanced scale, enabling it to compete effectively in the global market and offer a leading selection of sports, local, and global content.

The company stressed the importance of scale in the increasingly globalized and competitive media industry, highlighting that a combination with MultiChoice would provide significant scale and ensure the company’s long-term viability.

Canal+ Chairman and CEO Maxime Saada emphasized the company’s long-term investment in both MultiChoice and South Africa, expressing pride in their three-decade involvement in Africa’s media sector.

Saada highlighted the potential benefits of a merger between Canal+ and MultiChoice, including increased resources for investment in scale, local talent, storytelling, technology, and the ability to compete with global streaming giants.

As a dedicated investor and experienced global media entity, Canal+ aims to support the success of MultiChoice and the broader South African creative ecosystem in the long run by fostering local content creation, supporting local production companies, and promoting local and international sports.

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