Canal+ takes MultiChoice stake to over 40 per cent


Source: MultiChoice

Canal+ has acquired additional shares in MultiChoice, taking its stake in the South African pay TV operator to just over 40%.

The French pay TV operator revealed that it had acquired a further 14,924,639 MultiChoice share in a series of on and off-market transactions following the pair’s announcement on April 8 that they had agreed the outline of a deal whereby Canal+ could bid to take full control of MultiChoice.

The latest acquisitions have already been disclosed to MultiChoice and the South African regulator the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP).

Under the terms of the April 8 agreement Canal+ reserved the right to make further acquisitions of shares. However, if it pays over ZAR125 a share for any shares acquired it will be obliged to revise the terms of its bid.

The pair agreed on April 8 the terms of Canal+’s proposed mandatory offer to acquire 100% control of the South African company, with MultiChoice shareholders to receive ZAR125 per ordinary share.

The price was above the ZAR105 regulatory minimum threshold and represented a 67% premium on MultiChoice shares’ closing price on February 1 when Canal+ made its initial offer for the company.

MultiChoice has set up an independent board to consider the offer and has appointed Standard Bank of South Africa to advise it.

If Canal+ succeeds in securing 90% of MultiChoice shares during the offer period, it then has the right to acquire any remaining shares and delist MultiChoice.

If parent Vivendi’s plan to separately list Canal+ goes ahead, MultiChoice shareholders will have the chance to become shareholders of the united group through a secondary listing in Johannesburg.

If Vivendi’s plan to list the pay TV operator separately comes to fruition ahead of the end of Canal+’s offer for MultiChoice, it will look at revising its offer to give MultiChoice shareholders the chance to “have exposure to the combined group through the listing”.

The French pay TV operator believes that a combined group would be better placed to take on the challenge posited by the likes of Netflix and YouTube as penetration of the internet and mobile access grows in Africa.

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