MultiChoice Independent Board Supports CANAL+ Offer


CANAL+ and MultiChoice have issued a “Combined Circular” to MultiChoice shareholders regarding the mandatory offer by CANAL+ to acquire the shares it does not own in the South African pay-TV operator for 125 rand per share, valuing the company at $2.9 billion.

In early February, CANAL+ expressed a non-binding intention to make an offer of 105 rand per MultiChoice share, which was rejected.

After increasing its interest in MultiChoice above 35 percent, CANAL+ was required to make a mandatory offer for the MultiChoice shares it did not own as a result of a ruling on February 28 by the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP).

The Combined Circular includes the report by the Independent Expert (Standard Bank), which was appointed by the Independent Board of MultiChoice and expressed an opinion that the offer was fair and reasonable.

The Independent Board has reviewed the valuations prepared in the Independent Expert’s report and concluded that the terms and conditions of the offer are fair and reasonable to MultiChoice shareholders. It has therefore recommended the offer to MultiChoice shareholders in the event of it becoming unconditional.

CANAL+ and MultiChoice are in the process of assessing and finalizing a “suitable structure” for the licensed activities of MultiChoice Group to ensure compliance with the applicable limitations on foreign control on implementation of the mandatory offer.

Maxime Saada, chairman and CEO of CANAL+ Group, said: “The publication of the Combined Circular is a step forward in our vision to create a global entertainment business with Africa at its heart. It includes a recommendation by the Independent Board of MultiChoice that our offer should be accepted by shareholders in the event it becomes unconditional, and an assessment that our offer is both fair and reasonable.

“By combining the scale, complementary geographies and content portfolios of our two companies we will create an entertainment group with international reach and strong local roots. Our aspiration is to provide viewers across the continent with a local champion that can both challenge and partner with the largest media companies in the world and which can serve powerful local stories and compelling sport, whilst investing in the local creative and sporting ecosystems to ensure their long-term success.”

Elias Masilela, chairman of MultiChoice Group, said: “The offer from CANAL+ is an endorsement of MultiChoice’s 40-year track record and our compelling continental growth strategy. It is gratifying to note that foreign investors share our view that South Africa and Africa remain attractive growth markets.

“While we are currently successfully delivering on our mandate and strategy, CANAL+’s offer provides the opportunity to accelerate these plans and form a global entertainment business with Africa at its heart, increasing value for shareholders in the process.”