Naspers internet business Prosus soars in trading debut

Investors piled into Naspers Ltd.’s newly listed Dutch unit, holding assets including a lucrative stake in Tencent Holdings Ltd., sending its shares soaring on their trading debut in Amsterdam.

Prosus NV, as the new company is known, jumped 29% above its reference price as of 08h04 to value the group at around 123 billion euros ($136 billion). Naspers is retaining a 73% stake.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk planned the move to ease the company’s dominance of Johannesburg’s stock exchange and attract more international investors to what’s become a global group.

The Cape Town-based company has long been valued at less than its $128 billion Tencent stake, and a key reason for the Prosus spinoff is to narrow that gap.

International investors

The listing is designed to achieve two main objectives for Cape Town-based Naspers.

First, CEO Bob van Dijk wants to attract more international investors to assign more value to the company’s non-Tencent assets, which the market rates at less than zero.

Second, the spinoff will reduce Naspers’s dominance of Johannesburg’s stock exchange, where it’s by far the biggest company.

“Outside of Tencent, Naspers’ biggest asset is its exposure to online classifieds,” said Alastair Jones, an analyst at New Street Research in London.

“The business is monetizing in 10 countries and already reports $875 million of revenues, with the potential to begin monetizing in another 20 countries. The opportunity is therefore massive, and execution is key.”

Further reporting by Bloomberg.


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Naspers internet business Prosus soars in trading debut