Plans for DStv and Showmax after Canal+ takeover

French media giant Canal+ has no plans to shut down or change DStv or Showmax once its takeover of MultiChoice concludes.

Canal+ chair and CEO Maxime Saada said Showmax and DStv are very strong brands and that Canal+ wouldn’t get rid of them unless it has to, according to a News24 report.

“My intuition is that they have built very, very strong brands. And these are assets,” said Saada.

He added that Canal+ has no intention of changing the brands, especially considering its competition from companies like Apple and Netflix, which also have strong brands.

Saada also said MultiChoice favoured diversification in its operations, while Canal+ doesn’t.

To this end, Canal+ offers the same package across different platforms, including satellite TV and Internet streaming.

“If I show you the Canal+ app now, it’s the same content that I have on our set-top boxes,” said Saada.

He explained that MultiChoice views Internet streaming as a different market with a different audience, requiring a different offer and brand — Showmax.

Saada said Canal+ will address the streaming market with Showmax once the takeover concludes.

However, he noted that there could be some scenarios where Showmax doesn’t support DStv and competes with it instead.

Canal+ has been steadily buying up MultiChoice stock since October 2020. It hit a 35% threshold at the start of 2024, triggering a mandatory buyout offer.

It has continued to buy MultiChoice shares, with the Takeover Regulation Panel last announcing in May that Canal+ had increased its ownership of the local broadcaster to 45.2%.

The French media giant and MultiChoice issued a joint circular in early June 2024 detailing plans and dates for the proposed buyout of the South African broadcaster at R125 a share.

Maxime Saada, Canal+ CEO and chair

The circular confirmed that Canal+ hadn’t acquired any additional MultiChoice shares since its latest purchase notification in May. Its average buy price over the last six months has been just over R100 per share.

It acquired the shares between 8 and 10 May 2024, paying between R119.44 and R119.68.

“Canal+ confirms that these acquisitions have already been disclosed to the Takeover Regulation Panel as required under the Companies Act and [the Takeover Regulations],” said Canal+.

“After the aforementioned trades are implemented, Canal+ will hold an aggregate of approximately 45.20% of the MultiChoice Shares in issue.”

It added that it may acquire further shares while the offer remains open.

Canal+ has been notifying the market of its MultiChoice share purchases through the Takeover Regulation Panel each week since breaking through the 40% ownership mark.

“Some shareholders have asked whether Canal+ might cross the 50% shareholding in this way,” MultiChoice said in a media statement after the announcement.

“We do not envisage this happening as exceeding 50% ownership would amount to a merger under the Competition Act, which would require prior approval from the Competition Tribunal.”

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Plans for DStv and Showmax after Canal+ takeover