Imtiaz Patel steps down as MultiChoice chairman

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 23 Apr 2024
MultiChoice's offices in Randburg.
MultiChoice's offices in Randburg.

Imtiaz Patel has stepped down as chairman of JSE-listed video entertainment group MultiChoice.

His abrupt departure comes less than a month after the company reached an agreement with him to remain on as chairman until the completion of the ongoing Canal+ transaction.

Canal+ is looking to takeover MultiChoice, having offered to buy all the shares it does not already own in the company. 

Last week, the French-based media giant increased its shareholding in MultiChoice to 40.83%.

However, in a turn of events today, MultiChoice announced the chairman will be stepping down.

On 11 September last year, the company first announced that Patel would step down from the board of MultiChoice with effect from 31 March 2024, and would be replaced as chairman by Elias Masilela.

Last month, it told shareholders that in light of the proposed transaction with Canal+, the board had requested that Patel defer his stepping down until a date to be determined by the board in light of the progress on the proposed transaction.

At the time of the announcement of 2 April, discussions were in their final stages on key terms of the proposed transaction.

These culminated in MultiChoice and Canal+ entering into a co-operation agreement on 7 April and issuing a firm intention announcement on 8 April, with the material terms of the proposed transaction recorded in these documents.

“Given these developments, the progress that has been achieved thus far and the fact the independent board has been constituted and will fulfil its obligations under the Takeover Regulations, the proposed transaction has now shifted to the next phase,” says the company in a statement.

“The board and Patel have, therefore, agreed that now would be an appropriate time for Masilela, the current deputy chair, to be appointed as chair as planned and for Patel to step down from the board with effect from the date of this announcement.”

As was announced on 11 September 2023, it adds, Patel will remain involved in assisting the group on a consultancy basis.

“The board thanks Mr Patel for his extraordinary service and sacrifices during his tenure as chair. The board wishes Mr Masilela every success in his new role.”