BrandArena: End of an Era? Canal+ Makes Bold Bid for MultiChoice Acquisition

Thursday 1 February 2024

End of an Era? Canal+ Makes Bold Bid for MultiChoice Acquisition

In a significant move, Canal+ has formally proposed a non-binding indicative offer to acquire the prominent pay-TV giant, MultiChoice, based in South Africa, with an estimated value of R31.7 billion.

On Thursday, Canal+ issued a statement disclosing its intention to acquire all outstanding ordinary shares of MultiChoice, contingent upon obtaining requisite regulatory approvals. The proposed offer stands at R105 per ordinary share, indicating a substantial 40% premium over MultiChoice's closing share price as of January 31, 2024.

The latest annual report from MultiChoice unveiled that Canal+ already holds 140,160,277 of its 442,512,678 issued shares, implying an acquisition cost of approximately R31.75 billion for the remaining shares.

Canal+'s incremental increase in its stake over the past four years through a creeping takeover strategy has raised concerns, particularly regarding compliance with South Africa's Electronic Communications Act. However, MultiChoice dismissed these concerns by highlighting regulatory limitations on foreign voting rights to 20%.

Canal+ expressed its ambition to transform MultiChoice into a global-scale media company, emphasizing that without such a strategic alliance, MultiChoice's limited scale could pose challenges.

The company affirmed its commitment to complying with all South African media sector laws and regulations, as well as those related to companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Additionally, Canal+ is gearing up for its listing following the unbundling announcement from its parent company, Vivendi, aiming to establish an African media business with enhanced scale for international competition.

Canal+ assured that a merger with MultiChoice would significantly enhance its scale and overall success. The company also pledged commitment to supporting South Africa's creative industry, local sports, and Black Economic Empowerment.

Maxime Saada, Chairman and CEO of Canal+, highlighted their long-term investment in both MultiChoice and South Africa, expressing pride in their active involvement in Africa's media industry for the past 30 years.

"To ensure MultiChoice's continued success in Africa, it requires a strategy that amplifies its scale and reinforces its local and international expertise," stated Saada. "A combined entity with Canal+ would provide the necessary resources to invest in scale, local African talent, narratives, and cutting-edge technology, enabling growth in Africa and competition with global streaming media giants."

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