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Canal+ Ups Buyout Offer For African Content Giant MultiChoice To $1.8B

France’s Canal+ has upped a buyout offer for African TV and streaming giant MultiChoice to around $1.77B.

Vivendi-owned Canal+ is already MultiChoice’s biggest single shareholder, and last month had an earlier offer rejected on grounds it significantly undervalued the African company.

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The new mandatory offer stands at around 125 South African rand per share ($6.60), which values MultiChoice at about 33.7B, according to Reuters. A statement from the two companies said a period of exclusivity will kick in while shareholders assess the new offer.

Canal+ currently owns just over 35% of MultiChoice, which owns pay-TV services and streamer Showmax. When it hit this shareholding threshold, it became mandatory to launch a takeover offer per a local takeover regulations panel. Canal+ then said it would submit a new offer by April 8.

Once the mandatory offer is officially made, an independent board of MultiChoice will be formed to asses the takeover’s merits.

Canal+ Group started building a position in MultiChoice in 2020 and has wince become its single biggest shareholder. It has said its aim is to create “a large-scale African media company capable of thriving in an increasingly competitive international market.”

“Canal+ is a long-term investor in MultiChoice and South Africa, and is proud to have been actively involved in the African media sector for 30 years. To accelerate MultiChoice’s development in Africa and beyond, it will need to adopt a strategy that will enable it to increase its size and strengthen its local and global footprint,” said Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada on the announcement of the initial offer last month.

Created in the early 1980s, with backing from South African technology giant Naspers, MultiChoice currently has some 20 million subscribers across Africa. Streaming service Showmax has become a key local originals player and recently relaunched using tech from NBCUniversal, which owns 30% of its shares.

MultiChoice’s share price jumped 4% on the news of Canal+’s new offer this morning.

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