South Africa’s Naspers to list e-commerce ventures in Amsterdam

Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk
Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

South Africa-based media group Naspers on Monday announced that it intended to list its e-commerce ventures via a new global consumer internet group entity, called NewCo, on Euronext in Amsterdam,according to a press release.

Naspers’ e-commerce ventures include stakes in China’s Tencent Holdings, Russia’s mail.ru, India’s Swiggy and others.

Johannesburg-listed Naspers added that it will list NewCo earlier than the second half of the year after obtaining approvals from South African regulators. It will hold about 75 per cent stake in NewCo after the listing.

NewCo will also have a secondary, inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa.

As Europe’s largest listed consumer internet company by asset value, NewCo will give global internet investors direct access to Naspers’ unique and attractive portfolio of international internet assets, said the media group.

“Forming and listing a new, global consumer internet group on Euronext Amsterdam is a significant step for Naspers. It will provide a strong platform to attract incremental investor capital, which is well-aligned to our growth goals. The listing will present an appealing new opportunity for international tech investors to have access to our unique portfolio of international internet assets. As well as opening up investment to a broader category of investors, the listing aims to reduce our weighting on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which we believe will help us maximise shareholder value over time,” said Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.

Naspers, who owns nearly a third of Tencent, now constitutes almost 25 per cent of JSE, compared to 5 per cent about five years ago, and its outsized weighting on the JSE exceeds most South African institutional investors’ single stock limits, forcing the investors to sell the stock due to concentration risk. The proposed listing on Euronext aims to help address this market issue.

“We have therefore taken several actions in the past year or so, such as a trim of our Tencent stake, exiting several businesses including the sale of our Flipkart stake, driving the performance of our core internet businesses, and more recently, the listing and unbundling of MultiChoice Group Limited. After a careful and comprehensive evaluation of the merits of strategic options available to the group, the listing on Euronext Amsterdam proved to be the most promising for our future growth plans and addressing the market dynamics we wish to tackle,” said Nasper’s chief financial officer Basil Sgourdos.

Post-IPO, Naspers itself will retain its primary listing on the JSE and will continue to director hold its South African assets.

NewCo’s free float is expected to be created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers’ shareholders where they could choose to receive more shares in Naspers instead of NewCo, subject to certain limits.

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