French broadcaster Canal+ Group has increased its stake in MultiChoice from 12% to over 15%, Reuters reports.
Vivendi-owned Canal+ significantly raised its holding in Africa’s largest pay-TV last year, causing speculation that it could be looking to take over MultiChoice.
MultiChoice reportedly said it was keeping an open mind about its relationship with the company.
“The group’s policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them,” MultiChoice said in an earlier statement to MyBroadband.
“The company remains committed to acting in the best interests of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value.”
Groupe Canal+ SA is a French film and TV studio and distributor which owns the Canal+ French TV channels.
These channels span movies, sports, series, and news and have produced popular films such as The Straight Story, Mulholland Dr, and Inland Empire.
Groupe Canal+ has been expanding into Africa, including the acquisition of Nigerian production company ROK Studios.
Vivendi previously tried to acquire MultiChoice Africa, but the multi-million-dollar offer was rejected.
The company is now stocking up on MultiChoice shares, which industry players speculate may indicate that Canal+ is planning to acquire MultiChoice.
MultiChoice is Africa’s leading entertainment company and operates four platforms – DStv, GOtv, Showmax, and DStv Now.
It has approximately 14 million subscribers across 50 countries, with a particularly dominant position in South Africa.
MultiChoice serves Canal+ SA’s African ambitions perfectly and explains why it is investing in the company.
MultiChoice said that it had filed the required notice with the Takeover Regulation Panel in South Africa.
The Takeover Regulation Panel, which reports to the Minister of Trade and Industry, oversees the country’s takeover regulations.
Its mandate is to regulate mergers and acquisitions and protect minority shareholders by ensuring that such shareholders will have access to important information during transactions.
MultiChoice share price move
MultiChoice’s share price traded up on Thursday, recovering from a dip to R102 per share on Friday, 10 September to R116.55 yesterday.
The chart below shows MultiChoice’s share price movement over the last six months.