The African media scene experienced some Seismic shift with the news that Videndi’s Canal+ has offered to buy Multichoice (Dstv & Showmax). The French media giant already owns 31.7% of Multichoice and just offered to pay $1.7 billion to buy the rest of the business.
Vivendi is a mass media and communications company headquartered in France that owns CANAL+. It’s a big company with about USD 10.44 Billion in revenue. Anglophone countries in Africa may not know Canal+ but it has a strong base in Francophone Africa.
It seeks to acquire Multichoice with the aim of establishing a robust African media venture with increased scale, poised for success in a global market. The goal is to provide consumers with a top-notch selection of sports, local, and global content.
According to Canal+, Multichoice is worth $2.5 billion. Multichoice has 22 million subscribers in Africa. About 8.6 million subscribers are based in South Africa. On its part, Canal+ has 8 million subscribers on the continent.
Notably, Vivendi makes most of its revenue from France, which like most of Europe is not a high-growth area. Thus, it is no surprise they are looking at new acquisitions in new markets.
Canal+ Majority Shareholder
In recent years, Canal+ has been increasing the shares they own in Multichoice and are currently the leading shareholder. MultiChoices stock price has been falling for a while and so is relatively cheaper. This has partly been attributed to the depreciating Rand and entry of streaming platforms into the African markets.
For now, the outcome of the bid is uncertain. Canal+ has presented a non-binding offer to Multichoice board, contingent upon due diligence. Various factors, such as the board’s decision, the French withdrawing, or South African regulatory intervention, could impact the finalization of the deal.
We will soon learn whether Vivendi has multiple choices in its bid to dominate the African media scene or Multichoice is its sole choice.