Home » French billionaire’s firm makes mandatory bid for DSTV parent, MultiChoice in $2.9-billion deal

French billionaire’s firm makes mandatory bid for DSTV parent, MultiChoice in $2.9-billion deal

The offer, initially unveiled in April, commenced on Wednesday at R125 ($6.66) per share.

by Timilehin Adejumobi
Vincent Bolloré

Key Points:

  • Canal+ launches $2.9 billion all-cash offer to acquire South Africa’s MultiChoice Group, owner of DStv.
  • Recent Canal+ investment in MultiChoice adds over 7 million shares, worth $47.6 million, advancing its African expansion strategy
  • The bid reflects ambition in African entertainment, with MultiChoice’s Showmax streaming service bolstering its presence.

Groupe Canal+ SA (Canal+), the media arm of Vivendi, a Paris-based firm controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bollore’s Bollore Group, is set to launch its mandatory all-cash tender offer for MultiChoice Group, the South African parent company of DStv, the leading satellite-TV service in Sub-Saharan Africa. The offer, initially unveiled in April, commenced on Wednesday at R125 ($6.66) per share.

Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada, in a phone call with Bloomberg, confirmed the current offer values MultiChoice Group at $2.9 billion. The tender offer will conclude on April 25, 2025, with regulatory results expected on April 29, 2025, as outlined in a combined circular released earlier this week. Notably, Canal+ already holds a 45.2 percent stake in MultiChoice.

Canal+ strengthens grip on MultiChoice

Further solidifying its position, Canal+ acquired an additional 7,374,918 shares between May 8 and 10 at an average price of R119.59 ($6.499) per share, bringing its total investment to R882.44 million ($47.6 million) and increasing its stake to 45.2 percent.

Canal+ began acquiring shares in MultiChoice in 2020, aiming to expand its African footprint and capitalize on the continent’s growing population. In February, after exceeding the 35 percent ownership threshold mandated by South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel, Canal+ announced its intention to acquire the Johannesburg-listed broadcaster.

Vivendi eyes African media powerhouse with MultiChoice deal

Formed in South Africa in 1985, MultiChoice expanded across Africa in the early 1990s and spun off from Naspers in 2019. The deal paves the way for a combined entity with nearly 50 million subscribers, potentially creating a media powerhouse with significant resources to invest in local content and sports.

Vivendi, partially owned by Bolloré Group, is leveraging Canal+ to progressively increase its stake in MultiChoice, highlighting its ambitions in Africa’s entertainment sector. MultiChoice, with its popular Showmax streaming service, presents a strong competitor to global giants like Netflix.

Beyond its stake in Vivendi, Bollore Group also maintains investment in Wifirst, an internet service provider, diversifying its reach across various African industries. French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, former chairman of Bolloré Group, currently boasts a net worth of $9.69 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, ranking him 261st globally.

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