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Canal+ makes new offer to MultiChoice

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French pay-TV company Canal+ has raised its offer to acquire all the shares that it does not already own in South African pay-TV and streaming company MultiChoice Group.

In a statement issued via the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the companies said that, as the biggest shareholder in MultiChoice, Canal+ will offer 125 South African rands (US$6.55) per ordinary share after its previous offer of R105 ($5.50) per share was rejected last month.

On Monday, March 4, 2024, the French company said it will make a firm offer to MultiChoice after South Africa's Takeover Regulations Panel told it that its 35.01% shareholding in MultiChoice triggered a mandatory offer requirement.

In early February 2024, Canal+ offered R105 ($5.50) per MultiChoice ordinary share which represented a 40% premium on MultiChoice's closing share price on the JSE of R75 ($3.13) on January 31, 2024 – but MultiChoice believed the offer significantly undervalued the company.

"While the minimum price for the Mandatory Offer in terms of Regulation 111(2) of the Takeover Regulations is approximately R105 per MultiChoice ordinary share, Canal+ has agreed to increase the price to make the Mandatory Offer at a cash consideration of R125 per MultiChoice ordinary share," the joint statement said.

Canal+ is making another offer to MultiChoice because its 35.01% shareholding in the company triggered a mandatory offer requirement of SA's Takeover Regulations Panel.   (Source: Image by Freepik)
Canal+ is making another offer to MultiChoice because its 35.01% shareholding in the company triggered a mandatory offer requirement of SA's Takeover Regulations Panel.
(Source: Image by Freepik)

Furthermore, the companies said they intend to mutually co-operate in this regard, and MultiChoice will give customary exclusivity undertakings to Canal+.

"Once the Mandatory Offer is made, the Independent Board of MultiChoice will be constituted and will, after receipt of the Independent Expert's opinion, provide its opinion and recommendation on the Mandatory Offer in accordance with Regulation 110 of the Takeover Regulations," the companies added.

MultiChoice, the talk of the town

MultiChoice has been making headlines in recent times, and just last week, the company signed a distribution deal with Paramount Global Content Distribution. That deal will see streaming platform Paramount+ launched through the MultiChoice Group in Africa.

The company also signed a multi-year distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company Africa, allowing MultiChoice to retain its current portfolio of Disney linear channels until 2027.

MultiChoice partnered with US-based Comcast's NBCUniversal and UK-based Sky to create a pan-African streaming service in March 2023. That partnership led to the companies relaunching MultiChoice's video entertainment streaming offering Showmax and committing to investing heavily in the platform.

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*Top image source: Image by freepik.

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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