MultiChoice, the owner of SuperSport, the main sports broadcaster in sub-Saharan Africa, has rejected a full takeover offer from heavyweight France-based pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus.
The South Africa-based media giant said it will not continue talks with the French broadcaster after its board declared that the offer significantly undervalues the company.
On Thursday (February 1), Vivendi-owned Canal Plus unveiled a full, non-binding, indicative offer for MultiChoice equating to ZAR105 ($5.62) per ordinary share at the African media group.
The pay-TV operator already holds a stake of 31.7% in MultiChoice, through a deal struck in July (taking it up from the previous level of 30.3%). It has been steadily increasing its shareholding in the media group over the last few years, to the point where it is now already the largest shareholder.
It first took a stake in MultiChoice in early 2020 and was seeking to acquire all the ordinary MultiChoice shares it does not already hold, subject to regulatory approval.
After submitting the offer, Canal Plus said a merger with MultiChoice would turn the African pay-TV business into a global media company.
MultiChoice stated that Canal Plus’ words need to be factored into the price.
In a statement, the South African company said: “MultiChoice’s valuation excludes any potential synergies which may arise from the envisaged transaction.
“In this regard Canal Plus has, following the lengthy discussions between the parties, repeatedly conveyed to the public what it sees as the advantages of the combined entity and therefore seemingly takes the view that there are significant synergies.
“These synergies need to be factored into any fair offer made by Canal Plus. Therefore, while the board is open to all means of maximizing shareholder value, it has conveyed to Canal Plus that – at this proposed price – the letter does not provide a basis for further engagement.”
The MultiChoice business includes the DStv and Supersport brands, while it also relaunched its Showmax streaming platform last year.
Canal Plus, meanwhile, recently announced that it would increase its stake in beleaguered Scandinavian media service Viaplay’s ownership to above 25%.