MultiChoice, the well-known pay-TV provider in Africa, is purportedly the target of a non-binding offer from Canal+, the massive French pay-TV operator owned by Vivendi SE. Four years have passed since Canal+ first purchased a 6.5% share in the massive African broadcaster.

Canal+ offers 105 Rands per share, a significant premium above MultiChoice’s current share price of 79 Rands. By carefully increasing its footprint throughout Africa, Canal+ has grown its subscriber base from one million in 2016 to an astounding seventy-six million by 2023. Canal+’s original content options in the region were notably strengthened with the July 2019 acquisition of ROK Studios, a Nigerian film production business.

The progressive escalation of Canal+’s ownership in MultiChoice, from 20.1% in 2020 to about 32.6% in 2022, is consistent with Vivendi’s wider goals in the African market. It was expected that Vivendi, which has a reputation for doing forceful takeovers, would strategically acquire MultiChoice.

One of Vivendi’s previous bold buys was paying €180 million in October 2015 to purchase minority shares in the video game companies Ubisoft (6.6%) and Gameloft (6.2%), ultimately obtaining a 10% stake. Following Vivendi’s hostile acquisition of Gameloft, which saw it acquire more than 30% of the business before convincing other investors to sell, Gameloft became a Vivendi subsidiary in June 2016.

But in the near term, regulatory obstacles might make a full acquisition of MultiChoice more difficult. Legal restrictions in South Africa prevent foreign corporations, such as Canal+, from possessing more than 20 percent of the voting rights on a local broadcaster’s board of directors. MultiChoice upholds this regulation by capping voting rights, making a complete takeover appear unlikely.

Olawale Moses Oyewole
Olawale Moses Oyewole
Olawale Moses Oyewole is an adept writer who stays on top of current events and curate informative and engaging articles for his readers. He is a digital strategist who help brands gain online visibility.

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