Advanced Television

Multichoice OKs Canal+ bid

June 4, 2024

The independent board tasked by South Africa’s most significant pay-TV operator, MultiChoice, has recommended shareholders accept the takeover bid from French broadcaster Canal+. The offer values the company at $2.9 billion (€2.6bn).

The Johannesburg group’s board said “the terms and conditions of the offer are fair and reasonable to MultiChoice shareholders”, and pointed to a valuation report from Standard Bank, which gave the company a projected value of R120 ($6.4) per share. The Canal+ offer is R125 per share for c58 per cent part of Multichoice not already owned by Vivendi, the French media group and owner of Canal+.

Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada described the deal as part of a plan to “create a global entertainment business with Africa at its heart”.

MultiChoice reaches 22 million households in Africa through services including DTH DStv and streamer Showmax, where Comcast has a 30 per cent stake.

The deal will likely need approval by the country’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission. More problematic might be South Africa’s Electronic Communications Act, which prohibits foreign entities from holding more than 20 per cent of the voting rights of a local broadcasting rights holder.

Saada also said: “By combining the scale, complementary geographies and content portfolios of our two companies we will create an entertainment group with international reach and strong local roots. Our aspiration is to provide viewers across the continent with a local champion that can both challenge and partner with the largest media companies in the world and which can serve powerful local stories and compelling sport, whilst investing in the local creative and sporting ecosystems to ensure their long-term success.”

Elias Masilela, MultiChoice Group chairman, added: “The offer from Canal+ is an endorsement of MultiChoice’s 40-year track record and our compelling continental growth strategy. It is gratifying to note that foreign investors share our view that South Africa and Africa remain attractive growth markets. While we are currently successfully delivering on our mandate and strategy, Canal+’s offer provides the opportunity to accelerate these plans and form a global entertainment business with Africa at its heart, increasing value for shareholders in the process.”

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