Naspers to unbundle DSTV and focus on becoming an Internet company

Naspers will list its Video Entertainment business separately on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and simultaneously unbundle the shares in this business to its shareholders.

The new company will be named MultiChoice Group and will include MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa, and Irdeto.

Commenting on the transaction, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company.

Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top 40 JSE-listed African entertainment company.”

Video Entertainment CEO Imtiaz Patel said: “Listing and unbundling MultiChoice Group is intended to create a leading entertainment business listed on the JSE that is profitable and cash generative.

We offer an unmatched selection of local and original content, as well as a world-class sports offering. Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to take the company forward.”

Naspers’ Video Entertainment business is one of the fastest growing pay-TV operators globally and its multi-platform business entertains 13.5 million households across Africa.

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In the last financial year, the business added 1.5 million subscribers, and generated revenue of ZAR 47.1 billion and trading profit of ZAR 6.1 billion.

It employs more than 9,000 people in Africa and indirectly creates economic prosperity for over 20,000 more who are employed by its various partners and suppliers across the continent.

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MultiChoice Group is expected to be unbundled with limited leverage, providing it with the necessary financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities in African video entertainment.

The business is also positioning itself for the future by offering online streaming services, including Showmax and DStv Now.

Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE as well as its interests in Media24.

The share price has taken a hammering and has fallen from over R 4000 per share in November 2017 to R 2681 yesterday.