French media group Canal Plus is set to purchase the entirety of South African broadcaster Multichoice after tabling a mandatory offer for the remaining shares that it does not already own in the African entertainment powerhouse.

Canal Plus has bid 35 billion South African rand ($1.9 billion) for the remaining 63.4% of Multichoice that it does not already own.

The bid, which works out at 125 rand per share, is equal to a bid that the French company tabled In March, when it entered exclusive purchase talks with Multichoice.

Subsequently, Canal took its stake in Multichoice to over 35%, triggering a mandatory purchase offer which has now been tabled. The deadline for that bid was today (April 8).

Canal Plus, owned by media giant Vivendi, had originally offered 105 rand per share in February, an offer that Multichoice said undervalued the company and prompted the higher 125 rand bids.

The MultiChoice business includes the DStv and SuperSport brands, while it also relaunched its Showmax streaming platform last year.

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Canal Plus’ pan-African offering is centered around a number of Francophone sub-Saharan countries such as Mali and Senegal, while Multichoice operates across English-speaking nations such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Combined, the consolidated business would have over 31 million subscribers across the continent, with Multichoice alone boasting almost 22 million subscribers as of September 2023.

Canal Plus first took a stake in MultiChoice in early 2020 aiming to create a consolidated media giant on the continent.

Multichoice owns both SuperSport and the DStv pay-TV network, which hold the vast majority of English-language rights in Sub-Saharan Africa to top-tier sports properties, including English Premier League soccer, American football’s NFL, motor racing’s Formula 1, and all major international cricket tournaments.

Canal Plus is already the single largest stakeholder in Multichoice, and in February tied up a deal to become the largest stakeholder in Scandinavian media service Viaplay, expanding its reach in northern Europe alongside southern Africa.

As a part of the beleaguered Swedish media and entertainment company’s SEK 4 billion ($382.4 million) recapitalization, Canal Plus increased its stake from 12% to 29.33%.