Canal+ ups MultiChoice acquisition offer to $2.7 billion

Vivendi is teaming with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. in preparation for a formal offer in April

Canal+ ups MultiChoice acquisition offer to $2.7 billion
French billionaire Vincent Bollore, owner of Vivendi

French premium television channel Canal+ has increased its bid to buy SA-based MultiChoice, the leading entertainment firm in Africa. The Vivendi-owned company has added a billion to its initial offer of $1.7 billion, bringing it to $2.7 billion.

This comes a month after MultiChoice sat out the original proposal on the grounds of being undervalued, and quite shortly after a ruling by South Africa’s Takeover Regulations Panel (TRP) gave Canal+ until April 8th, 2024 to make an offer to buy MultiChoice shares it does not already own.

The biggest shareholder in MultiChoice, Canal+ has disclosed that having entered exclusive talks with the company, it will offer 125 rand per share, as opposed to the rejected 105 rand ask made initially, per Bloomberg.

Yesterday, Canal+ announced it will make the mandatory offer to the African broadcaster by no later than April 8th in honor of the TRP's injunction. The company has a 35.01% shareholding in MultiChoice and wants to use the acquisition to establish a leading presence in the continent.

“Once the mandatory offer is made, the independent board of MultiChoice will be constituted and will, after receipt of the Independent Expert’s opinion, provide its opinion and recommendation. Nothing in this announcement should be read as limiting in any way the giving of such opinion,” the parties said.

Canal+ first made the offer on February 1st, 2024, and since then the value of MultiChoice shares has increased by 52%. After the all-new offer was announced, the pay-TV business' shares jumped 4.7%.

So far, it has been a dramatic series of events, one that is expected given its nature as one of the biggest acquisitions to happen in South Africa. But it is clear Canal+ looks to act in the best interests of the company (MultiChoice) and its shareholders.

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