France’s Canal+ buys stake in MultiChoice Group


French media giant Groupe Canal+ has acquired a not-insignificant stake in South Africa’s largest broadcasting company, DStv parent MultiChoice Group.

MultiChoice, which is listed on the JSE, disclosed the Canal+ investment in a statement on the stock exchange news service on Monday morning. Canal+ has bought 6.5% of the company’s total ordinary shares in issue, it said. MultiChoice shares leapt higher in Monday morning trading on the news and were quoted up 8.2% at R110.84 apiece at 10.39am.

“As a publicly held company, MultiChoice regularly engages with its strategic partners and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community. The group’s policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them,” it added.

Canal+ is owned and controlled by Vivendi and produces movies and television shows. It has a significant pay-television business and a film library of more than 5 000 titles. It is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris.

It’s not immediately clear why Canal+ is building a stake in MultiChoice. TechCentral has reached out to Vivendi for comment.

In e-mailed response to a query from TechCentral, MultiChoice said: “Groupe Canal+ became shareholders in MultiChoice Group in April this year. We received notification that their shareholding has now increased to 6.5%, thereby exceeding the 5% threshold that requires us to inform our shareholders through the JSE, as well as the Takeover Regulation Panel.”

It added: “We remain committed to acting in the best interests of all our shareholders and to create sustainable long-term value for them.”

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