MultiChoice and Canal+ agree on buyout deal

April 8, 2024
2 min read
MultiChoice building

The news: 

  • On Monday, April 8, 2024, MultiChoice, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed pay-TV, informed its investors that it has entered into a "cooperation agreement" with Canal+ to work closely on a mandatory offer the French media giant has been mandated to make to them. 
  • This news comes after Canal+ acquired over 35% of the South African entertainment company's equity in 2024, triggering a mandatory offer under the country's regulations.
  • According to recent reports, the Vivendi-owned Canal+ has acquired even more shares in MultiChoice as the two companies work together to complete the buyout. Canal+, which has continued to buy MultiChoice shares on the open market, now owns a 36.6% stake in the South African company. 

Per the joint announcement, the agreement will see the two broadcasters using “reasonable endeavours to cooperate concerning the offer, including in relation to the fulfilment of the offer conditions and the publication of a combined offer circular.”

The South African Takeover Regulation Panel, which ordered Canal+ to make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares in MultiChoice that it did not already own, set the minimum offer price at R105 per share. 

At the new offer price of R125 per share to MultiChoice shareholders, the French media company has gone significantly above the set minimum price. The new offer price is nearly 67% higher than the MultiChoice share price just before it received its first offer in February.

The takeover regulation panel gave Canal+ until April 8 to complete the buyout. However, the date could be extended, if needed, with the approval of the South African Takeover Regulation Panel. 

As part of the process, and as required by law, MultiChoice constituted an independent board to ensure fairness and reasonableness of the Canal+ offer. The board, in turn, has appointed Standard Bank of South Africa Limited as an independent expert to review the terms of the offer and provide a fair and reasonable opinion. 

The deal, if it goes through, could see MultiChoice delisted from the JSE, as Canal+ will reserve all rights to do so. With other companies going private in recent years, this could be another setback for the Southern African stock exchange. 

“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.”

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