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BusinessDay

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

Wanted: Ministry of Multichoice and government palliatives for Nigeria

Vivendi SE’s Canal+ has made a formal all-cash offer for South Africa’s MultiChoice Group Ltd., valuing the broadcaster at $2.9 billion.

This forms part of the firm’s expansion across Africa, according to a Bloomberg report. The offer, submitted on Monday, proposes to buy MultiChoice shares at 125 rand ($6.7) each, according to a joint filing by both companies.

The report disclosed that the decision on the offer will lie with a newly formed independent board at MultiChoice.

The report read in part, “The offer includes a provision for Canal+ to purchase additional MultiChoice shares on the open market. However, if these shares are acquired at a price exceeding 125 rand each, Canal+ would be obligated to raise its offer price to match the highest price paid per share.

“The South African company’s stock price has witnessed a significant 25 percent surge since Canal+ first expressed its interest in February after MultiChoice rejected an earlier offer of 105 rands per share.”

Canal+ aims to leverage MultiChoice’s acquisition as part of its entry strategy into the African market. Discussions are underway for Canal+ to potentially partner with South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe to address limitations on foreign media ownership in South Africa.

The bidding for MultiChoice started on February 2, when Canal+ offered to buy all the shares it did not own in the firm for about $1.7bn.