Canal+ deal forces MultiChoice to extend Patel’s tenure

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 02 Apr 2024
MultiChoice offices in Randburg.
MultiChoice offices in Randburg.

The MultiChoice board has reached an agreement with Imtiaz Patel to remain on as chairman until the completion of the ongoing Canal+ transaction.

This, after the video entertainment group’s previous announcement that Patel would step down as its chairman with effect from 1 April.

In a shareholder update issued this morning, MultiChoice explains: “In view of the recent ruling by the Takeover Regulation Panel that required Groupe Canal+ SA to make an immediate mandatory offer to all MultiChoice shareholders, the MultiChoice board believes there is significant benefit in continuity at this time and Mr Patel has agreed to extend his tenure until the conclusion of the Canal+ transaction, or such sooner date as may be determined in light of progress on the transaction.”

Effective 1 April, Elias Masilela, a long-standing non-executive director (NED) and designated chairman, will be deputy chairman of the MultiChoice board. He will also become lead independent director (LID) in the place of Jim Volkwyn, who will step down as LID but remain as a NED, notes MultiChoice.

“The board expresses its gratitude to Mr Patel for extending his tenure and to Mr Masilela for taking on the new roles on the board. It also wishes to thank Mr Volkwyn for his service as LID and as the chair of the remuneration committee − his dedication, leadership and tireless efforts have been invaluable to the company.”

Canal+ owns more than 35% of shares in MultiChoice. In early February, the French media giant confirmed it had submitted a letter to MultiChoice’s board of directors, containing a non-binding indicative offer to acquire all of the issued ordinary shares of MultiChoice that it does not already own, subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

It made an indicative offer of R105 per share in MultiChoice, saying this would represent a premium of 40% to MultiChoice’s closing share price of R75 on 31 January 2024.

However, MultiChoice rejected the offer, claiming it undervalued the company, and asked it to improve its offer.

At the end of February, the Takeover Regulation Panel ordered Canal+ to make a “mandatory offer immediately” for the remaining shares in MultiChoice that it did not already own.

Canal+ has since raised its offer price to R125 per MultiChoice ordinary share.

The parties are currently locked in engagements regarding the deal.