Canal+ Buys 6.5% Stake in MultiChoice: Groups Focus on Massive Expansion

The listing of MultiChoice at the JSE in Sandton. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Canal+, a French premium television channel has bought a 6.5% stake in MultiChoice, Africa’s largest satellite television company, based in South Africa.

The South African company operates DStv, GOtv, and has operations in over 13 Sub-Saharan African countries. Canal+ is owned by Vivendi. The stake purchase was declared on Monday, October 5, and has industry analysts speculating the level of expansion being considered by both companies.

MultiChoice, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), while declaring the Canal+ investment in a statement, confirmed that Canal+ has bought 6.5% of the company’s total ordinary shares in issue. MultiChoice shares leapt higher in Monday morning trading on the news and were quoted up 8.2% at R110.84 apiece.

“As a publicly held company, MultiChoice regularly engages with its strategic partners and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community. The group’s policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them,” it added.

In a response to the media, Canal+ mentioned that  “Groupe Canal+ became shareholders in MultiChoice Group in April this year. We received notification that their shareholding has now increased to 6.5%, thereby exceeding the 5% threshold that requires us to inform our shareholders through the JSE, as well as the Takeover Regulation Panel.”

There are also speculations that the partnership will lead to big industry domination across the continent. Canal+ had in July acquired access to launch a comprehensive broadcast offer encompassing a DTH pay-TV offer of some 50 premium channels in a mix of standard and high definition, enriched by the addition of a selection of Ethiopian Free-to-air content. Multichoice had earlier in September declared interests in expanding to the Ethiopian market.

Nonetheless, the partnership among both companies signals an exciting turn for satellite TV across the continent.


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