South African media and internet group Naspers has pinned down a date for listing its new internet business, NewCo, in Amsterdam – with the calendar marked for 17 July 2019.
Naspers plans to list the new group on Euronext Amsterdam, along with a secondary, inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa.
The group said it expects to own no less than 73% of NewCo and the free float is expected to be up to 27%, created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers shareholders.
NewCo will hold all of Naspers’ non-South African internet operations, which includes companies and investments in the online classifieds, payments and fintech, food delivery, etail, travel, education, and social and internet platforms sectors, among others.
These assets are some of the world’s leading and fastest-growing internet brands, such as mail.ru; OLX; Avito; letgo; PayU; Tencent; iFood; Swiggy; DeliveryHero; Udemy; eMAG; and MakeMyTrip.
“The new group will be a strategic investor and operator, and focus on long-term value creation by building leading technology companies that improve people’s daily lives in high-growth markets,” the group said.
The listing of NewCo on Euronext Amsterdam is expected to reduce significant structural barriers for the company and represents a major step by management to pursue continued growth and create value for shareholders, it said.
It follows the unbundling of MultiChoice Group in March, which unlocked approximately US$3.5 billion for Naspers shareholders.
According to Naspers CEO, Bob van Dijk, the Amsterdam listing will present an opportunity for global tech investors to access the group’s portfolio.
Upon completion, the listed NewCo will likely become the largest listed consumer internet company by asset value in Europe.
In South Africa, even after the listing of NewCo on Euronext Amsterdam, Naspers will remain the largest South African company listed on the JSE by market capitalisation, it said, and it will continue to invest in South Africa.
“Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the South African technology sector and is committed to building its existing internet and ecommerce companies in the country, as well as stimulating the local tech start-up sector through the Naspers Foundry.”
Naspers CFO, Basil Sgourdos explained in March 2019 that Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE, and will continue to directly hold its local assets, Takealot and Media24, alongside its majority stake in NewCo.
NewCo’s free float is expected to be created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers shareholders, and shareholders will also be able to choose to receive more shares in Naspers instead of shares in NewCo, subject to certain limits, he said.
“This is intended to provide flexibility to shareholders. Further details relating to the implementation of the proposed transaction will be provided in due course. It is intended that the Board and governance structures of NewCo will mirror those of Naspers.”