Naspers to discuss Koos Bekker’s future

Naspers, the listed Internet and media firm, will make an announcement on the future of its CEO, Koos Bekker in November – with his current contract set to expire at the end of March 2014.

Shares in Naspers have showed no sign of slowing down in 2013 as it heads towards an unthinkable price of R1,000 on the JSE.

The group continued to break new ground in trade on Tuesday (17 September), trading at R956.50, up R16.49 (1.75%), and giving the group a market cap of R387.11 billion.

Shares in Naspers have climbed R448.65 or 93% over the past year.

Bekker agreed in 2012 to stay on for a further year, “to create sufficient space for succession planning,” said Naspers chairman, Ton Vosloo in August last year.

His original five-year contract was due to come to an end in March 2013.

“The board will deliberate on the issue and we’ll make an announcement by November (2013) when we release our results,” a spokesperson for Naspers told BusinessTech.

“The board could decide to renew it (contract) if he is available or opt for another successor.”

Bekker led the founding team of M-Net/MultiChoice pay-television business in 1985. He headed the MIH group in its international and internet expansion until 1997, when he became chief executive of Naspers.

Under his leadership, Naspers in June reported a 27% rise in consolidated revenues, to R50.2 billion for the year ended March 2013.

Forbes, who likens Bekker to the “Rupert Murdoch of South Africa” put his net worth at $450 million as at November 2012, ranking him in 36th spot on the publication’s Africa 40 rich list.

In terms of a special remuneration scheme at Naspers, Bekker has not received any direct compensation from Naspers for five years – a deal which started in April 2008.

In lieu of remuneration Bekker was awarded 11.7 million Naspers N shares, which were paid over five years in installments of 3.9 million shares after year two.

As of March 2013, Bekker added 3.9 million more shares to his 12.5 million shares owned before, bringing his total shareholding to 16.4 million shares.

At a spot price of R930, this places Bekker’s total shareholder value at R15.252 billion.

Naspers’ principal operations are in Internet platforms, pay-television and the provision of related technologies and print media including publishing, distribution and printing of magazines, newspapers and books.

Locally, it owns online retailers, Kalahari.com and PriceCheck, pay television operation DStv, and Supersport, and Mweb.

The group holds interests in Russian Internet firm Mail.Ru Group, and Chinese group, Tencent.

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Naspers to discuss Koos Bekker’s future