Canal+ bids for control of MultiChoice

By Content Nigeria reporter
February 2, 2024

Multichoice streamer Showmax

Vivendi-owned Canal+ Group has offered to up its minority stake in The MultiChoice Group and take full ownership of the African broadcasting giant.

France’s Canal+ currently owns a 31.7% stake in the South African-headquartered company, which is active in 50 markets across sub-Saharan Africa.

The company operates dozens of channels and entertainment platforms, including pay TV service M-Net, the DStv satellite offering, DTT platform GoTV and streamer Showmax.

According to reports, the French pay TV giant’s bid to the board of directors of MultiChoice is a non-binding and indicative offer as it seeks to acquire all the issued ordinary shares in MultiChoice that it does not already hold.

Canal+ said it has offered SAR105 (US$5.65) per ordinary share, which were valued at SAR75 on January 31. The potential deal, valued at approximately US$1.7bn, would be subject to regulatory approvals. MultiChoice confirmed it has received a letter of intent from Canal+ Group and said it would update its shareholders if there were any developments.

Revenue at The MultiChoice Group fell by 1% to SAR28.3bn during the six months ending September 30 last year, as the group battled local and global economic headwinds.

MCG said that factors contributing to the slight fall in profitability included the ongoing South African load-shedding energy crisis, cost of living pressures and sharp depreciation in local currencies against the dollar.

MultiChoice recently linked with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky to relaunch Showmax with a refreshed brand and revamped content line-up, including English Premier League football, local originals and US series.

Vivendi, meanwhile is exploring the feasibility of splitting itself into several entities, each of which would be listed on the stock market, including Canal+ Group and Lagardère.

Following its acquisition of Luxembourg-based broadcaster M7 and channels provider SPI, Canal+ Group has taken strategic stakes in businesses such as Hong Kong-based OTT service Viu, embattled Nordic streamer Viaplay and MultiChoice as part of its international expansion plans.

“For MultiChoice to continue to thrive in Africa it will require a strategy that enhances its scale as well as strengthened local and global expertise. Our potential offer, if successful, would be an important next step for MultiChoice to realise its full potential,” said Maxime Saada, chair and CEO of Canal+.