Economy

Canal Plus moves to acquire MultiChoice, enters exclusive purchase talks

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Canal Plus, the Vivendi-owned pay-TV broadcaster, has increased its bid to acquire MultiChoice and now enters exclusive talks to take full control of the South African media group.

The French broadcaster was forced to up its bid after MultiChoice rejected a previous offer.

According to Sportcol news, the France-based broadcaster had reportedly raised its offer to buy US$6.59 per ordinary share, which valued the company at ZAR55 billion (US$2.9 billion) in total.

Canal Plus was reportedly forced to up its bid after MultiChoice – which runs pay-TV sports heavyweight SuperSport – rejected a previous offer equating to ZAR105 per share.

MultiChoice shares had risen 52 percent since Canal Plus’ bid was first announced on February 1 and climbed 4.7 percent on Tuesday (March 4) alone, after the new offer.

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Maxime Saada, Canal Plus Chairman and Chief Executive, told Bloomberg: “Both companies have mutually agreed to co-operate, and MultiChoice had agreed it would give exclusivity to Canal Plus.

“We know the company well, and we have enough insight into the company’s value to propose this price.”

Vivendi already holds a stake of 31.7 percent in MultiChoice, through a deal struck in July (taking it up from the previous level of 30.3 percent).

It has been steadily increasing its shareholding in the media group over the last few years, to the point where it was now the largest shareholder.

Its shareholding in the company had now triggered local regulations that required it to make a takeover bid.

The pay-TV giant was given until April 8 by South Africa’s Takeover Regulations Panel to make a new bid.

Canal Plus first took a stake in MultiChoice in early 2020 and was seeking to acquire all the ordinary MultiChoice shares it does not already hold, subject to regulatory approval.

The MultiChoice business included the DStv and SuperSport brands, while it also relaunched its Showmax streaming platform last year.

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