French media company Groupe Canal+ has acquired an additional interest in Multichoice ordinary shares of the Company, bringing its holding in the company to 45,2%.

MultiChoice has filed the required notices with the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) and with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Multichoice has also informed shareholders that, according to a provision of the MultiChoice memorandum of incorporation, the company may reduce the voting rights of shares, including those deposited in terms of the American Depositary Share (ADS) facility, so that the aggregate voting power of MultiChoice shares held by foreigners will not exceed 20% of he total voting power in MultiChoice.

The company states that this is to ensure compliance with certain statutory requirements applicable to South Africa.

In light of this, Multichoice states that it will presume that all MultiChoice shares deposited in terms of the MultiChoice ADS facility are owned or held by foreigners, regardless of the shareholders’ actual nationality.

In addition, all shareholders with an address outside of South Africa will be deemed to be foreigners unless they can prove that they are not.

Canal+ has been buying up Multichoice shares pursuant to a takeover of the company. In April, the two companies reached an agreement by which Canal+ would acquire the Multichoice group, offering shareholders R125.00 per share – a 66,6% premium over the R75.00 closing price on 1 February 2024.

Canal+ aims to build a global entertainment leader, with Africa at its heart, combining scale, complementary geographies, integrated and international reach with strong local roots, that will support the commercial development of Africa’s sporting and cultural industries and take leading and authentic African stories to a global audience.

The group believes that the competitive landscape for Africa’s media and entertainment industry will continue to undergo profound changes as the continent rapidly adopts broadband and mobile Internet.

International media companies and global OTT platforms (including Netflix, YouTube, Disney and Apple TV+), will increasingly be able to use their scale and resources to expand internationally beyond their existing markets, increasing their focus on Africa and thereby challenging local rivals.

Canal+ believes a combined group would be better positioned to address key structural challenges and opportunities resulting from the progressive digitalisation and globalisation of the media and entertainment sector.