Canal+ takes MultiChoice stake to beyond 40%

French broadcasting group Canal+ has bought up another big chunk of shares in acquisition target MultiChoice Group, taking its shareholding beyond 40% for the first time.

Groupe Canal+’s stake in MultiChoice has risen to 40.01% of the JSE-listed broadcaster’s ordinary shares in issue. This was disclosed in a regulatory filing with the JSE by MultiChoice on Friday and published on the bourse’s stock exchange news service.

The disclosure comes just days after MultiChoice said Canal+ had increased its stake in the business, which owns DStv, Showmax and SuperSport, to 36.6%.

MultiChoice has agreed to work closely with Canal+ on a mandatory offer the latter must make to the former’s shareholders. This is after Canal+ triggered a mandatory offer under South African rules by acquiring more than 35% of MultiChoice’s equity earlier this year.

The “cooperation agreement” will see the two broadcasting giants using “reasonable endeavours to cooperate in relation to the offer, including in relation to the fulfilment of the offer conditions and the publication of a combined offer circular”.

Canal+ is offering MultiChoice shareholders R125/share in cash. If the deal goes ahead, MultiChoice could be delisted from the JSE. If Canal+’s offer is accepted by shareholders with at least 90% of eligible MultiChoice shares, then the French firm has reserved the right to delist MultiChoice from the local bourse.

At the same time, though, Canal+ has said there is an opportunity, potentially, for South African investors to participate in its own proposed listing in Europe.

Combined entity

“Canal+ intends that, should its planned European listing proceed, there will be an opportunity for South African investors to become shareholders of the combined entity as part of a secondary inward listing on the JSE,” it said on Monday.

“In particular, if Canal+’s listing occurs prior to the offer closing, Canal+ will consider revising the terms of the offer and extending to MultiChoice shareholders an opportunity to have exposure to the combined group through this listing.”

Read: Canal+ and MultiChoice join hands in takeover deal

MultiChoice and Canal+ intend posting a combined circular to MultiChoice shareholders by 7 May.  – © 2024 NewsCentral Media

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