No more Facebook for Naspers

JSE listed media and internet firm, Naspers no longer holds any stock in Facebook after Mail.ru dropped its shares in the social network giant for $525 million (R5.38 billion).

In morning trade on the JSE, Naspers shares traded at record highs, up nearly R15 or 1.67% to R884, having seen an intra-day best of R889.47.

The group’s share price is up R333, or 60% in the year to date, giving it a market cap of R367.59 billion.

While Naspers did not own a direct stake in Facebook, it had an indirect investment in the social networking company through Russian Internet company, Mail.Ru, which owned the shares.

Naspers is a minority shareholder in Mail.Ru, with a 29% stake in the Russian firm which, had previously held 14.2 million shares in Facebook.

Naspers was able to sell one third of its stake in Facebook when the social company listed in May 2012 – at a company value of $100 billion.

Following a rocky IPO, Naspers CEO Koos Bekker initially expressed his misgivings over the future of the social network’s performance on the Nasdaq.

He said that Naspers would look to get rid of its remaining shares in Facebook as soon as it was able, having already sold two-thirds for a book profit of R1.5 billion through Mail.ru.

“Any future disposals would be a decision for the Mail.ru board to make and we cannot comment or speculate on that,” Naspers told BusinessTech earlier in 2013.

On the Nasdaq, Facebook shares were trading at a fraction of a percent lower at $41.78, though still riding the highs of recent trade, past its $38 listing price.

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No more Facebook for Naspers