I write about business, entrepreneurship, innovation, wealth and culture with a focus on global impact. Innovative, groundbreaking ideas and the structures that drive them over time, inform my subject choices. I cover industries that span manufacturing, service, technology, entertainment, healthcare and aviation among others, across Africa for Forbes Middle East. I have previously worked as Forbes Africa’s West Africa Correspondent, a wealth contributor on the annual Forbes rich list and as a CNBC Africa business contributor.
Africa’s most valuable public company, Naspers, has announced its intention to list its offshore assets on Euronext Amsterdam, creating a new global entity and Europe’s largest listed consumer internet group by asset value.
The listing includes its prized stake in China’s Tencent—the world’s largest gaming company by revenue. Alongside Letgo, PayU, Mail.ru, OLX, Avito, iFood, Delivery Hero, Swiggy, Udemy, eMAG and MakeMyTrip. Naspers will retain its primary Johannesburg listing as it continues to hold its South African assets, Takealot and Media 24.
The new entity, NewCo, will be approximately 75% owned by Naspers with the rest being a free float.
Following mounting investor pressure to unlock new value, Naspers’ decision will open up a direct route into the group’s internet assets for global investors and most likely remove the South African discount, which has long depressed the stock’s rating.
“Forming and listing a new global consumer internet group on Euronext Amsterdam is a significant step for Naspers. 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 and provide a strong platform to attract incremental investor capital,” said Bob van Dijk, Chief Executive, in a statement.
The company accounts for nearly a quarter of the JSE’s shareholder-weighted index, forcing local investors to reduce exposure to Naspers and avoid concentration risk.
In early March, Naspers unbundled Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite broadcaster onto the JSE.
The company also trimmed its stake in Tencent recently and sold its shares in India’s Flipkart.
The transaction, subject to requisite regulatory approvals is expected to be implemented by the second half of 2019.