In 2019, France’s biggest PayTV company Canal+ acquired ROK studios, one of Nollywood’s biggest production houses and this signalled the company’s interest to expand beyond Francophone Africa. On Thursday, the continent’s leading entertainment group and owners of GoTV and DSTV, Multichoice announced that french pay-television giant Groupe Canal+ has continued buying up its shares, so much so that its stake has doubled to 12% in the past month.
Vivendi, the conglomerate that houses Canal+ has been buying MultiChoice shares since April and they only had to disclose their position after they had bought more than 5% of the company’s ordinary shares. MultiChoice shares rose to a record above R140 this week after Canal+’s buying spree and speculations that some sort of bid for the pan-African pay-TV group – hostile or otherwise might be on the cards soon. According to TechCabal, Vivendi has a reputation for hostile takeovers, often buying minority stakes in the company first, before making takeover bids. It could very well be the play here.
“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,” MultiChoice said in Thursday’s statement. “The company remains committed to acting in the best interests of all shareholders and to create sustainable long-term shareholder value.”
Canal+ said at the time that the move was a long-term financial investment and testament to the confidence that owner Vivendi has in MultiChoice and the African continent.