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MultiChoice chairman leaves as takeover talks thicken

MultiChoice chairman leaves as takeover talks thicken

Imtiaz Patel has stepped down as the chairman of MultiChoice and will be replaced by Elias Masilela.

This comes three weeks after the company announced that Patel’s resignation had been put on hold so he could preside over negotiations with French media giant Canal+.

Read also: Canal+ makes new offer for MultiChoice at $2.9bn valuation

Canal+ was compelled to make a mandatory offer to buy MultiChoice earlier this year when it exceeded the 35 percent shareholding threshold stipulated in South Africa’s Companies Act. On September 11, last year, the company announced that Patel would step down from its board effective 31 March 2024 and would be replaced as chairman by Elias Masilela.

Following transactions with Canal+, the board last month asked that Patel defer his stepping down until a date it can determine because of the progress of the proposed transaction.

In the notice issued on 2 April, after the board meeting on 28 March, MultiChoice’s board said, “Patel has agreed to extend his tenure until the conclusion of the Canal+ transaction or such sooner date as may be determined in light of progress on the transaction.”

However, the company has now said the plan was for Patel to step down once certain milestones were reached. It said, “At the time of the announcement on 2 April 2024, discussions were in their final stages on key terms of the proposed transaction.”

Read also: MultiChoice appoints Kemi Omotosho as regional director of Southern Africa

This milestone was reached when MultiChoice and Canal+ entered into a cooperation agreement on April 7, 2024, and announced firm intention the following day.

MultiChoice noted that Patel would remain involved with the group as a consultant in line with the original announcement of his resignation on 11 September 2023.