MultiChoice scraps chairman’s resignation

Imtiaz Patel will remain on as MultiChoice chair, the company said in an announcement to shareholders on Tuesday morning.

South Africa’s pay-TV giant said Patel (pictured, left) agreed to keep his seat to help the company navigate the buyout offer from French media conglomerate Groupe Canal+.

This comes after the DStv owner announced in September last year that Patel would step down. Elias Masilela (pictured, right) was set to take over as chair from 1 April 2024.

“The Board believes that there is significant benefit in continuity at this time and Mr Patel has agreed to extend his tenure until the conclusion of the Canal+ transaction or such sooner date as may be determined in light of progress on the transaction,” MultiChoice stated.

Effective 1 April 2024, Masilela will become the deputy chair of the MultiChoice board. He will also become Lead Independent Director (LID) in the place of Mr Jim Volkwyn, who will be stepping down as LID but remain as a non-executive director.

“The Board expresses its gratitude to Mr Patel for extending his tenure and to Mr Masilela for taking on the new roles on the Board,” MultiChoice said.

“It also wishes to thank Mr Volkwyn for his service as LID and as the chair of the Remuneration Committee — his dedication, leadership and tireless efforts have been invaluable to the company.”

South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel ruled at the end of February that Canal+ must make a mandatory offer to buy MultiChoice after it acquired over 35% of the company on the open market.

Shortly after Canal+ exceeded the 35% threshold, it issued a media statement announcing an offer to buy MultiChoice’s remaining shares for R105 each.

MultiChoice publicly rejected the offer.

The Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) also took a dim view of how the matter was handled.

“The TRP contended that the publication of, inter alia, the announcement without the approval of the TRP was unlawful, being in contravention of the Act and the Regulations, and issued a compliance notice against MultiChoice,” it stated.

“This compliance notice is the subject matter of an appeal and a review instituted by MultiChoice to The Takeover Special Committee.”

The regulator also ordered Canal+ to make a new offer to comply with the Companies Act’s stipulation on mandatory offers.

Canal+ increased its offer to R125 per share, cash.

Buying the remaining 64.99% of MultiChoice it does not own would cost over R35.9 billion.

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MultiChoice scraps chairman’s resignation