South African billionaire Koos Bekker’s ownership stake in the leading Internet group Naspers Ltd. has lost about $111.1 million of its market value.
The drop occurred after the company’s Dutch-listed subsidiary Prosus announced its intention to acquire Naspers shares.
Prosus is a subsidiary of Naspers founded under Bekker’s leadership as the company’s global Internet assets division. It has grown to become the largest consumer Internet company in Europe and one of the biggest technology investors internationally, with operations across various platforms and geographies.
The subsidiary moved on May 10 to implement a voluntary share exchange for Naspers shareholders, with the view to deliver immediate and long-term value creation for both Naspers and Prosus shareholders.
Under the voluntary share exchange offering, Prosus would acquire 45.4 percent of the issued non-voting shares of Naspers in exchange for newly issued Prosus non-voting shares. This would take Prosus’ overall interest in the parent company to 49.5 percent.
News of the transaction sent shockwaves through the market, as Naspers’ share price declined by more than 9 percent after the announcement. This led to a drop in Naspers’ market valuation, as well as the market value of the shares held by company insiders.
Bekker, who is a major shareholder in Naspers holding an indirect stake of 4,688,691 non-voting shares, has seen his stake decline in market value from $1.123 billion to $1.012 billion. This is a market value loss of about $111.1 million, or 9.89 percent.
Bekker is known for transforming the South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an eCommerce investor and cable TV powerhouse.
The South African-born businessman has a net worth of about $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.
Bekker led Naspers to invest in the Chinese Internet and media firm Tencent in 2001.
The position has proven by far to be one of his most profitable investments.