French media company buys stake in MultiChoice

French media company Groupe Canal+ SA has acquired 6.5% of MultiChoice Group’s total ordinary shares.

MultiChoice disclosed this news on Monday morning but noted that it is permitted to reduce the voting rights of shares owned by foreign entities.

“Shareholders should take note that, pursuant to a provision of the MultiChoice memorandum of incorporation, MultiChoice is permitted to reduce the voting rights of shares in MultiChoice (including MultiChoice shares deposited in terms of the American Depositary Share (“ADS”) facility) so that the aggregate voting power of MultiChoice shares that are presumptively owned or held by foreigners to South Africa (as envisaged in the MultiChoice memorandum of incorporation) will not exceed 20% of the total voting power in MultiChoice,” the company said.

“This is to ensure compliance with certain statutory requirements applicable to South Africa.”

MultiChoice also noted it regularly engages with its strategic partners and the investment community. However, it said it would not comment on individual shareholders.

“The Group’s policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them,” said MultiChoice.

“The Company remains committed to acting in the best interests of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value.”

Groupe Canal+ SA

Groupe Canal+ SA is a French film and TV studio and distributor which owns the Canal+ French TV channels.

These channels span across movies, sports, series, news, and a variety of other popular content types, and has produced popular films such as The Straight Story, Mulholland Dr, and Inland Empire.

Groupe Canal+ has been expanding into Africa in recent years, including the acquisition of Nigerian production company ROK Studios.

Vivendi – the entity which owns an controls Groupe Canal+ – previously tried to acquire MultiChoice Africa, but the muti-million dollar offer was rejected.

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French media company buys stake in MultiChoice