Groupe Canal+ ups its stake in MultiChoice

Image: Soko Directory

SOUTH AFRICA – MultiChoice Group has disclosed that French pay-television giant Groupe Canal+ has continued buying up its shares, doubling it to 12% in the past month.

MultiChoice disclosed on 5 October that Canal+, which is owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi, had acquired 6.5% of its equity.

That has now risen to 12% of the company’s total ordinary shares in issue on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“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,” MultiChoice said in a statement.

“The company remains committed to acting in the best interests of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value,” the statement added.

MultiChoice shares have risen to a record above US$8.5 this week on Canal+’s buying spree as well as investor speculation that some sort of bid for the pan-African pay-TV group – hostile or otherwise – might be on the cards soon.

Canal+ is owned and controlled by Vivendi and produces movies and television shows.

It has a significant pay-TV business and a film library of more than 5,000 titles.

It is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris.

In response to a query from TechCentral when MultiChoice first disclosed the Canal+ stake earlier this month, the company said Canal+ first became a shareholder in April.

It was only required to disclose the investment after it breached the 5% level.

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