Home » South African tycoon Koos Bekker loses $86.58 million in six days as investors sell off Naspers shares

South African tycoon Koos Bekker loses $86.58 million in six days as investors sell off Naspers shares

by Omokolade Ajayi

South African billionaire businessman Koos Bekker has lost R1.28 billion ($86.58 million) in six days, as wary investors sold off shares in Naspers.

Naspers is a global Internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world.

The South African multinational holding company headquartered in Cape Town, the oldest and second-largest city in South Africa, has interests in publishing, online retail and venture capital investing in the consumer Internet sector.

Its shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange have been on a downslide since the start of Q2 2021, when its shares were trading in the R3,750-R3,550 range.

The decline in the group’s share price was triggered by investors reacting to a disclosure that revealed that Prosus, a Naspers subsidiary, would become the group’s principal shareholder, owning up to 49.5 percent of its parent shares as part of a cross-ownership structure.

The board of directors of Naspers argued that the voluntary share exchange will deliver immediate and long-term value creation.

Under the terms of the deal, Prosus has acquired Naspers shares, issuing new Prosus shares to pay for them. The new shares will be issued and listed today, Aug. 16.

Since April 2021, shares in the group have slumped by more than 25 percent as investors sold off stakes in the group on the basis that the cross-ownership structure will add to the complexity of Naspers’ and Prosus’ share structure.

Shares in the group have dropped from R2,960.01 ($200.95) on Aug. 1o to R2,688 ($184.08) as of press time, 1:00 PM (UTC), Aug. 16. 

The decline led to a 9.2-percent loss for shareholders in six days, while the market value of Bekker’s stake has declined from R13.88 billion ($942.17 million) to R12.60 billion ($855.59 million) between Aug. 10 and 16.

This translates to a loss of R1.28 billion ($86.58 million) for the billionaire in six days.

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