BrandArena: Canal+ Increases Stake in Multichoice, Nears 50% Ownership

Monday 20 May 2024

Canal+ Increases Stake in Multichoice, Nears 50% Ownership

In a series of strategic moves, the French multimedia giant Canal+ has significantly expanded its ownership in Multichoice, positioning itself on the brink of acquiring a 50% stake in the company.

The development came to light on Tuesday, May 14th, when Canal+ disclosed three distinct share purchase transactions executed over the preceding week. These transactions collectively elevated Canal+'s ownership in the South African media conglomerate to 45.2%.

Specifically, Canal+ secured an additional 7,374,918 shares of Multichoice through a blend of on-market and off-market transactions, underscoring its commitment to bolstering its position in the company.

With these recent acquisitions, Canal+ is poised to possess approximately 45.20% of Multichoice's total issued shares, as confirmed by official sources.

Canal+ has diligently reported these acquisitions to the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP), ensuring compliance with the mandatory disclosure requirements mandated by the Companies Act.

Since surpassing the 40% ownership threshold, Canal+ has consistently apprised the TRP of its on-market purchases of Multichoice stock weekly, demonstrating transparency in its strategic maneuvers.

Notably, Canal+ has tabled a purchase offer for all Multichoice shares at a price of R125 per share. This offer is currently under deliberation by an independent board convened by Multichoice to assess its viability.

While Canal+ has expressed its intent to pursue additional shares of Multichoice during the pendency of its takeover offer, it is improbable for Canal+ to breach the 50% ownership threshold through incremental share acquisitions. Such a move would trigger merger regulations under the Competition Act, necessitating prior approval from the Competition Tribunal.

Multichoice has iterated that any shares acquired by Canal+ at a price exceeding R125 each would oblige an adjustment in the offer price. This underscores Multichoice's commitment to fair valuation and shareholder interests amidst the evolving ownership landscape.

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