Foreign suitors target cheap SA assets
Publish date: 12 February 2024
Issue Number: 1063
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
SA assets are attractive enough that foreign firms are willing to pay a premium and deal with byzantine layers of regulation to get a deal done. MultiChoice is not the first (or last) SA asset that will be snapped up by a foreign buyer. If Canal+ succeeds with its offer, it will be the fifth major local company, after Pioneer Foods, Distell, Massmart and Imperial Logistics, to be acquired by a global player since 2019. The rand’s continued steady depreciation against major currencies means SA’s assets are cheaper than ever for suitors arriving with hard currency. Moneyweb reports that the offer for MultiChoice illustrates this almost perfectly. To acquire the remaining 65% of MultiChoice at a higher premium than the first offer price will cost Vivendi less than €1.7bn. The Canal+ Group will report annual revenue of more than 3.5 times this in 2023. This offer is somewhat unique, as the French outfit desperately needs the DStv operator for scale ahead of its proposed listing as a standalone entity. Last year, it crossed the 25m subscriber mark, which includes 8m in Africa and 9m France. At the end of September, MultiChoice had roughly 22m (with close to 8m in SA).