French broadcasting giant Groupe Canal+ has again increased its stake in Johannesburg-listed MultiChoice Group, taking its position in the South African broadcaster to 20.1%.
Canal+ began snapping up shares in MultiChoice in 2020. It’s the first time the DStv and SuperSport parent has disclosed a change in Canal+’s shareholding since November 2021, when it disclosed the French group had bought 15.4% of its ordinary shares in issue.
“MultiChoice remains committed to acting in the best interest of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value. While the group regularly engages investors with its strategic partners and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community, its policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them,” it said in Thursday’s disclosure to investors about the Canal+ stake.
Canal+ is owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi.
When Vivendi began buying up MultiChoice shares in 2020, it prompted speculation about the company’s intentions. It also fuelled a sharp rally in MultiChoice’s share price at the time.
MultiChoice first disclosed on 5 October 2020 that Canal+ had acquired 6.5% of its equity.
“Whether it’s Canal+ or someone else, we have a responsibility as directors of the company to do what is in the best interests of shareholders,” MultiChoice Group chief financial officer Jacobs told TechCentral in an interview in November 2020.
“Whatever opportunity comes our way, we will try to keep an open mind. We will certainly look at it and say, ‘Is this is in the best interest of shareholders or not?’ If it is, we’d need to embrace it and make the best deal we can for shareholders,” Jacobs said.
Canal+ previously told MultiChoice that it views the stake as a financial investment. The two companies have worked together for some time, sharing content between their respective markets. “We have an ongoing relationship with them in various territories,” he said at the time.