"Accept The Canal+ Offer": MultiChoice Tells Shareholders

An offer by France's Canal+ for the shares it does not own in South Africa's MultiChoice is "fair and reasonable" according to an independent board formed by the latter and reviewed by Standard Bank, the two broadcasters said on Tuesday.

MultiChoice appointed the bank to examine the all-cash mandatory offer which would create a pan-African broadcaster with about 31.5 million subscribers across more than 50 countries. The deal needs at least 90% shareholder approval to go through.

Canal+, part of French media group Vivendi in April made a firm offer of 125 rand in cash per MultiChoice share, or about 35 billion rand ($1.88 billion), which valued the company at about 55 billion rand.

The offer is expected to close by April 2025.

Maxime Saada, chairman and CEO of CANAL+, said on a media call that the French company had already invested close to 1.2 billion euros buying a 45.2% stake in MultiChoice.

The two sides are assessing and finalising a suitable structure for the licensed activities of MultiChoice Group.

The French broadcaster will need to navigate South Africa's Black economic ownership requirements and restrictions on foreign media ownership, which caps voting rights at 20%.

"I don't see the Black economic empowerment as a hurdle," Saada said, adding "the foreign ownership is a hurdle".

However, the CEO said Canal+ had drawn a lot of interest from potential partners in South Africa though it was too early to disclose details, as first the deal must be approved by the regulator.

"I would rather, of course, it happens fast. Not because I'm impatient, but because the competition doesn't wait," Saada said.

The company also plans to have the new entity double-listed in Europe and Johannesburg between year-end and the first half of 2025.

Information source: Reuters

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