Multichoice’s market cap tops $3 billion on JSE debut

This marks the next chapter in our development and growth – Multichoice CEO, Calvo Mawela
Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Africa’s biggest pay-TV group MultiChoice, debuted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Wednesday with shares opening at 95.50 rand, giving the company a market capitalization of 42 billion rand ($3.03 billion).

South African ecommerce giant Naspers decided to spin MultiChoice off after coming under pressure in recent years to find ways to narrow a valuation discount between its market value and that of its one-third stake in Chinese internet group, Tencent.

The stock was trading at 105.04 as of 0727 GMT rand, adding to opening gains.

Founded 30 years ago, MultiChoice reaches around 14 million households in 50 African countries, offering both paid-TV products and a fledgling streaming service called Showmax.

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The company has said there are more than 25 million households across the continent yet to be captured by its traditional pay-TV business.

The spin off leaves MultiChoice — whose strong cash flow helped Naspers evolve into one of world’s biggest players in e-commerce – free to fend for itself in an increasingly competitive market where Netflix is already supplying viewers with TV content and Hollywood hits.

“This is a momentous time for our business… This marks the next chapter in our development and growth,” said MultiChoice CEO, Calvo Mawela.

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