Naspers-owned Prosus selling Tencent stock to buy back own shares

Naspers and Prosus have announced a share repurchase programme, where it will sell a portion of the group’s Tencent Holding shares to buy back its own stock.

The repurchase programme will be funded by the on-market sale of Tencent shares held by the group, and the group’s CEO, Bob van Dijk, said the programme is expected to increase the value of the group’s shares.

“Today, we are announcing an open-ended share repurchase programme that is designed to unlock significant value for our shareholders over time,” van Dijk said.

“We expect the programme to significantly increase the net asset values per share for Prosus and Naspers.”

“It will also rebalance our asset base towards our fast-growing non-Tencent assets, whose value we expect to increase over time while retaining exposure to Tencent’s significant value creation potential,” he added.

The repurchase process will begin with Prosus selling a small amount of ordinary Tencent shares while purchasing Naspers and Prosus shares in parallel.

“Tencent is supportive of the withdrawal by Prosus of its voluntary restriction on the sale of its Tencent Shares,” the group added.

The group has appointed intermediaries to execute the sale and repurchase of shares independently from and uninfluenced by Naspers and Prosus.

It received authorisation from Naspers and Prosus shareholders for the repurchase programme during meetings held on 24 and 25 August 2021.

Shareholders granted the authorisation for a maximum period of 18 months from the date of the meeting. The group said it would request similar permission during its 2022 Prosus Annual General Meeting.

The company may repurchase nearly 265 million Prosus shares (currently worth R233 billion) at a price the group said could not be lower than the nominal value of the shares and not higher than the opening price on Euronext Amsterdam on the trading day of the repurchase.

Separately, the companies also announced that Prosus sold JD.com shares worth $3.7 billion (R58.6 billion) on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Prosus received just short of 132 million JD.com shares as a Tencent stockholder.

Tencent’s board of directors declared a special interim dividend on 23 December 2021, where it decided to distribute Class A shares of JD.com.

The shares received by Prosus represented the majority of JD.com shares held by Tencent.


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Naspers-owned Prosus selling Tencent stock to buy back own shares