MultiChoice & Canal+ agree increased $2.9bn acquisition deal

(Source: MultiChoice)

French media group Canal+ has made a formal $2.9bn offer for full ownership of South Africa’s MultiChoice.

The Paris-based group hopes to use the potential acquisition create a global media company that would be double listed in both Europe and South Africa that could compete with the US media giants.

The two companies agreed the terms first put forward last month, which will see MultiChoice shareholders will receive ZAR125 per ordinary share.

The price is well above the ZAR105 regulatory minimum threshold and represents a 67% premium on MultiChoice shares’ closing price on 1 February, when Canal+ made its initial offer for the company.

MultiChoice has set up an independent board to consider the offer and has appointed Standard Bank of South Africa to advise it.

If Canal+ succeeds in securing 90% of MultiChoice shares during the offer period, it then has the right to acquire any remaining shares and delist MultiChoice.

Canal+ said that if the European listing goes ahead, MultiChoice shareholders will have the chance to become shareholders of the united group through a secondary listing in Johannesburg.

The French outfit said that if its parent Vivendi’s plan to list it separately comes to fruition ahead of the end of the offer, it will look at revising its offer to give MultiChoice shareholders the chance to “have exposure to the combined group through the listing”.

The French pay TV operator believes that a combined group would be better placed to take on the challenge posited by the likes of Netflix and YouTube as penetration of the internet and mobile access grows in Africa.

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