Billionaire Motsepe throws hat into MultiChoice acquisition ring

 ·28 Mar 2024

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe is in talks with Vivendi SE’s Canal+ to join its multibillion-dollar bid for broadcaster MultiChoice Group, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bringing South Africa’s richest Black man into the deal would likely help the French media conglomerate meet the country’s stringent Black ownership requirements, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is still private.

Representatives for both Canal+ and Motsepe’s investment company African Rainbow Capital declined to comment.

Discussions are at an early stage, and there is no guarantee that an agreement will be reached, said the people.

Canal+ has built up a holding above 35% in MultiChoice, South Africa’s biggest pay-TV group, triggering a mandatory takeover offer.

If the French broadcaster can navigate the country’s limits on foreign media ownership, it will gain greater access to African markets, home to the world’s fastest-growing and youngest population.

Canal+ is expected to make a formal offer for MultiChoice at R125 a share, valuing the company at about R55 billion, before April 8 for consideration by the board’s independent members, said the people.

The French company had pushback from MultiChoice on its earlier offer of R105 a share.

Formed in South Africa in 1985, MultiChoice expanded across Africa in the early 1990s with packages including live English football matches and local shows.

The company was spun off from Naspers in 2019. It also owns Showmax, the popular video-streaming service and Netflix rival.

Vivendi aims to combine its local Canal+ operations with MultiChoice, creating a group with almost 50 million subscribers and resources to invest more in local content and sports.

Read: Why a R200 billion French media giant wants to buy Multichoice and DStv

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