MultiChoice and Canal+ strike buyout deal

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April 9, 2024
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6 min read
MultiChoice's building

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Përshëndetje,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • MultiChoice and Canal+ strike buyout deal
  • African startups raised $329.5 million across 51 deals in Q1 2024
  • Detained Binance executive remanded after pleading not guilty 
  • Pezesha and MarketForce settle case out of court

MultiChoice and Canal+ strike buyout deal

MultiChoice building

Yesterday, MultiChoice, the pay-TV giant listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), spilled the beans to its investors about teaming up with Canal+ for a mandatory offer the French media giant has to make to them. 

This all started after Canal+ snagged over 35% of MultiChoice's shares earlier in 2024, hitting the threshold for a mandatory offer under South African rules.

Reports say Canal+ has been on a shopping spree, grabbing even more MultiChoice shares lately. Now, it holds a 36.6% stake in the company. 

The deal between the two giants means they'll join forces to smooth out the offer process and publish a combined offer circular.

In March, the South African Takeover Regulation Panel set the minimum offer price at R105 per share, but Canal+ is going way beyond that with a new offer of R125 per share.

Originally, the takeover had to be completed by April 8, but that deadline might shift with the nod from the South African Takeover Regulation Panel.

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To keep things above board, MultiChoice set up an independent board to ensure fairness, and they brought in Standard Bank of South Africa Limited to review the offer terms.

If the deal pans out, MultiChoice might bid farewell to the JSE as Canal+ could delist it. But Canal+ hints that South African investors might still get a shot at the action if they go ahead with their planned European listing and offer a secondary inward listing on the JSE.


African startups raised $329.5 million across 51 deals in Q1 2024

funding drop

In the first quarter of 2024, African mobility startups were the shining stars in terms of funding, despite an overall drop in total funding by a whopping 62% compared to the previous year.

Last year, African startups raised a decent sum, but this year, things were a bit slow out of the gate, with only $329.5 million raised across 51 deals. Yeah, that's a significant drop from last year's $873.9 million, especially with MNT-HALAN's big $400 million raise in February skewing the numbers.

But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. There was a bit of a silver lining with a slight month-on-month growth. January saw $70.7 million raised, dipping a bit to $67.8 million in February, but bouncing back up to $190 million in March. And let's not forget Moove's $100 million raise in March, which gave the numbers a boost.

Fintechs didn't have the best time in terms of funding, only raking in $38 million over the three months. But there's hope on the horizon for climate tech startups. 

You know the drill! If you want to dive deeper into the funding journey of African startups in the first quarter of 2024, check out Chimgozirim's story. Trust me, it's packed with all the juicy details you won't want to miss. Just click here to give it a read!


Detained Binance executive remanded after pleading not guilty

Tigran Gambaryan

Tigran Gambaryan, the detained Binance executive, said he's not guilty of laundering money charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria.

He showed up in an Abuja court facing charges of dodging taxes and laundering over $35 million. At first, he didn't plead anything, but then when they had the big formal arraignment yesterday, he pleaded not guilty to the money laundering charges.

The court pushed his case to April 18, 2024, and he's stuck in the Kuje Correctional Centre until they decide about his bail. His actual trial is set to kick off on May 2, 2024.

This all started back on February 26, 2024, when Nigerian authorities nabbed two Binance executives as part of its crackdown on crypto stuff. Then, about a month later, the Nigerian tax guys hit Binance with charges for not paying taxes and helping users dodge them too.

Gambaryan's officially in trouble for money laundering, but they're still sorting out the tax charges, set for April 19, 2024.

The other detained Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, managed to escape custody and bolt out of Nigeria, but Gambaryan's still in the hot seat.

During his court session, the judge said Gambaryan couldn't dodge the charges just because Anjarwalla was not around. They're making him take responsibility for Binance and deal with the legal mess.

Meanwhile, Binance is trying to distance Gambaryan from the whole mess, saying he's not a big shot there and is just a law enforcement guy, not a boss.


Pezesha and MarketForce settle case out of court

MarketForce co-founders

After a legal showdown that lasted six months, Kenyan fintech startup Pezesha and MarketForce, a B2B eCommerce platform, finally called a truce.

MarketForce, facing some financial struggles, owed Pezesha a hefty sum. Things got so tense that Pezesha even filed to liquidate MarketForce, hoping to get back what they were owed.

But fast forward to March 2024, and something unexpected happened. At the Harambeans Global Summit in Maasai Mara, the founders of both companies, Hilda Moraa from Pezesha and Tesh Mbaabu from MarketForce, sat down and hashed things out. They managed to reach a deal and settle their differences out of court.

Before this whole drama, Pezesha had been helping MarketForce with loans for its retailers. But as MarketForce hit some rough patches with funding, they couldn't keep up with their debts, causing tension between the two companies.

Mbaabu admitted that they underestimated the challenges of scaling up and could have communicated better with Pezesha during their funding troubles. Lesson learned, he said.

Meanwhile, Moraa thinks they could have handled the situation more smoothly and focused on finding solutions together instead of rushing to court.

But hey, there's a silver lining: Pezesha recently scored a sweet $500,000 grant from the US International Development Finance Corporation. With this cash, they're planning to level up their lending game for small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa using fancy tech like data science and machine learning. So, it's not all bad news after all!


In case you missed it

What I'm reading and watching  

Opportunities   

  •  Apply for Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) by May 6, 2024, here
  • Nansen is looking for a Product Manager. Apply here.
  • At Matters Lab is hiring a remote Product Manager. Apply here.
  • Veza is looking for a Senior Software Engineer. Apply here.
  • Clari is looking for a Senior Software Engineer. Apply here.
  • Seedstars has announced  INFUSE 2024, a global invitation for innovative applications aimed at fortifying health systems against climate threats and improving immunisation delivery. Apply here.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a terrific Thursday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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