MultiChoice expected to start trading on JSE in February

MultiChoice is expected to start trading on the JSE from February 27, subject to its proposed unbundling from internet and entertainment giant Naspers.

According to an abridged pre-listing statement issued after markets closed on Monday, MultiChoice said it will list on the "broadcasting and entertainment" sector of the stock exchange. Naspers had announced its intention to unbundle MultiChoice in September 2018.

"Naspers intends to distribute 438 837 468 shares (being 100% of the issued shares and all of the shares held in the company by Naspers) to shareholders recorded on the Naspers securities register on Friday, 1 March 2019," the notice read.

The MultiChoice group will include subsidiaries such as Showmax, MultiChoice Botswana and MultiChoice Namibia, among others.

MultiChoice operates across 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. As at March 31, 2018 the group had 13.5 million subscribers, generated more than R47bn in revenue and reported an operating profit of R6bn.

In its own shareholder notice issued on Monday, Naspers reiterated the reasons for the unbundling- such that Naspers' future business strategy is to become a global consumer internet company.

"Naspers has evolved in recent years into two distinct business lines: a high-growth global internet business with international focus; and a cash generative, African video entertainment business.

"The Naspers board of directors, as part of its continuing review of the Naspers business operations, has determined that, given their divergent paths, there is no longer a strategic rationale for keeping both business lines together and there are no synergies between the two businesses," the notice read.

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