TRP engaging Canal+, MultiChoice on deal approach

Esa Alexander/Reuters

South Africa’s takeover panel said on Tuesday it was looking into MultiChoice Group and Vivendi Group’s Canal+, after MultiChoice ended potential buyout talks with its largest shareholder on Monday.

Canal+, a top shareholder in MultiChoice, had on Thursday offered R105/share for every MultiChoice share it does not already own. It said the offer — worth an estimated R31.7-billion — was a 40% premium to MultiChoice’s closing share price of R75 on 31 January.

The offer price was rejected by the continent’s biggest pay-TV company, saying it significantly undervalued the group. MultiChoice said, however, it was open to talk to anyone about any deal so long as it was at a fair price.

Possibly anticipating a pushback, Canal+ raised its stake in MultiChoice to 35.01% following the deal’s announcement last week, just above the threshold that would require the company to make a mandatory offer to shareholders.

MultiChoice said on Monday it had requested the Takeover Regulation Panel to make a ruling as to whether a mandatory offer must be made.

“At the time of releasing this statement, the panel is still engaging with MultiChoice and Canal+ to provide guidance and guidelines on how the matter is to be handled and addressed,” the Takeover Regulation Panel said in a statement. It added that it was investigating various aspects of the current status of the matter.

The French media group was not immediately available to comment.

Read: MultiChoice tells Canal+ to take a hike

Shares in MultiChoice have jumped more than 20% since the offer was made, but it is still trading below the offer price, indicating a lack of investor confidence that the deal would go through.  — Prerna Bedi and Chandini Monnappa, (c) 2024 Reuters

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