South Africa's richest black man to join Canal+ in MultiChoice bid as buy offer deadline nears

March 28, 2024
2 min read
MultiChoice building
  • Patrice Motsepe, a South African billionaire, is reportedly in talks with Vivendi SE's Canal+, a French media company, about joining its bid for MultiChoice, South Africa's PayTV provider.
  • This move comes as Canal+'s April 8 deadline to submit a formal buy offer approaches.
  • If Motsepe's move goes through, it could help the French broadcaster meet the deal's Black ownership requirements, as the South African Electronic Communication Act 2005 states that foreigners cannot directly or indirectly control a commercial broadcasting licence. Also, foreigners can not own over 20% of the shares.

Per Forbes, the South African billionaire's estimated net worth in 2024 is $2.5 billion. He has served as president of the Confederation of African Football and is a businessman and football administrator.

Canal+, a French media company, has steadily increased its stake in MultiChoice since 2020, from 20% to 35% in February 2024, despite strict rules.

Canal+ offered to acquire MultiChoice for R31.7 billion ($1.6 billion) on February 1, 2024, but MultiChoice declined due to undervaluation. 

The proposal estimated MultiChoice's value at more than $2.4 billion, requiring the company to pay $1.7 billion for the remaining 64.99%. At the time, the Board stated that it was open to receiving proposals from any party willing to make a reasonable offer.

Later, the South Africa Takeover Regulation Panel intervened, directing Canal+ to offer to acquire the remaining shares of MultiChoice, which it does not own. Following the directive, Canal+ was given a 25-business-day extension to complete the buy offer, which expires April 8.

In March 2024, the French media company increased its initial buy offer from $1.6 billion to $2.9 billion. One of the richest black people in South Africa wants to participate in the bid with Canal+ as the deadline draws near. Furthermore, the conversation is still early and has not been concluded.

Canal+ intends to merge with MultiChoice to increase its subscriber base and invest more in local content and sports. 

Meanwhile, MultiChoice also owns Showmax, a mobile video streaming platform that surpassed Netflix in Africa in August 2023, capturing 40% of the market. MultiChoice launched Showmax in 2015, and it is now available in more than 40 African markets.

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