MultiChoice Board Chair Steps Down As Canal+ Deal Pushes On

MultiChoice board chair Imtiaz Patel is stepping down effective 23 April after serving out his tenure at the helm of the pan-African broadcaster. Patel was supposed to step down on 31 March but his tenure was extended as MultiChoice sought his expertise in the ongoing potential deal for an acquisition by French broadcaster Canal+.

In a statement to shareholders, MultiChoice said Patel’s contribution which warranted the extension of his tenure was in negotiating the cooperation agreement between the two broadcasters and Canal+’s mandatory offer. “[Following the progress made], the board and Mr Patel have agreed that now would be an appropriate time for Mr Masilela, the current deputy chair, to be appointed as chair as planned and for Mr Patel to step down from the board.” 

Patel’s stepping down from the board is perhaps a sign that the Canal+ deal is at a point where it does not need the former CEO’s handholding. In the same announcement, MultiChoice also said that negotiations had proceeded to “the next phase” that did not warrant Patel’s involvement, further hinting at possible progress towards a deal.

Before joining the MultiChoice board in December 2018, Patel served as CEO of MultiChoice between 2010 and 2015 and was also CEO of SuperSport for 11 years. Following his stepping down from chairmanship, he will remain as part of the board on a consultancy basis until October 2028, MultiChoice stated.

His replacement Elias Masilela is also the chair of the board of Sanlam, one of South Africa’s largest insurance companies. He is also a former board member of the South African Reserve Bank and Government Employee Pension Fund. 

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