French media giant increases stake in DStv-owner MultiChoice

MultiChoice has notified shareholders that French media company Groupe Canal+ SA has increased its stake in the company to 20.12%.

“MultiChoice remains committed to acting in the best interest of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value,” the DStv owner stated.

“While the Group regularly engages investors with its strategic partners and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community, its policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them.”

MultiChoice said it has filed the required notice with the Takeover Regulation Panel as required in terms of section 122(3)(a) of South Africa’s Companies Act.

This latest move comes after Canal+ increased its stake in MultiChoice to 18.44% in June.

Before that, MultiChoice revealed in September 2021 that Canal+ had increased its stake in the company from 12% to over 15%.

Protea Capital Management senior investment analyst Richard Cheesman previously said they see opportunity, means, and motivation for Canal+ to buy a larger stake in MultiChoice.

“There is little geographical overlap between MultiChoice and Canal+ in Africa, and there would be many synergies from a merger such as content costs, satellite leases, and perhaps expediting the use of the MultiChoice tax losses,” Cheesman said.

“MultiChoice and Canal+ have monthly feedback meetings and have collaborated on some content. We view this as informal due diligence being done.”

Seeing Canal+ buying up MultiChoice shares on the open market caused speculation that Vivendi, through Canal+, aims to take over South Africa’s pay-TV giant.

Vivendi previously tried to acquire MultiChoice Africa, but it rejected the multi-million-dollar offer.

In June, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said Vivendi sees the company as a good financial investment.

“Vivendi thinks MultiChoice is a well-run company that will continue to grow,” Mawela said.

Now read: DStv’s big price hike problem

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French media giant increases stake in DStv-owner MultiChoice