South African media conglomerate Naspers – which amongst other investments controls the MultiChoice/DStv pay-TV service – is selling shares in China’s Tencent operation. However, the amounts are huge.
Naspers is selling $10.6 billion, out of its total holdings in Tencent of some $175 billion. The $10.6 billion represents about 2 per cent (190m shares) of Tencent’s issued shares. The sale represents the largest-ever disposal on the Hong Kong stock market. It holds onto 31 per cent of Tencent, and says it will not make any further disposals for a three-year period.
Naspers is certainly getting a spectacular return on its investment. It bought its stake in Tencent in 2001 for just $32 million. Naspers, announcing the sale of stock, said it still considers Tencent “to be one of the very best growth enterprises in any industry in the world, managed by an exceptionally able team.”
Naspers remains Africa’s biggest company by market value.
The cash will be used “to reinforce Naspers’ balance sheet and will be invested over time to accelerate the growth of our classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally,” said Naspers.
On March 21st Naspers reportedly told French conglomerate Vivendi that it was not interested in selling any part of its MultiChoice business.