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Phuthuma Nathi shareholders to pocket R1.5bn dividend

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Shareholders in MultiChoice’s Phuthuma Nathi empowerment scheme will cash in a R1.5 billion dividend approved at the annual general meeting yesterday.

An ordinary dividend of R22.22 per share before dividend tax (R17.78 after tax) will be paid to Phuthuma Nathi shareholders in the first week of September.

Regarded as one of SA’s most successful broad-based black economic empowerment share schemes, Phuthuma Nathi has more than 80 000 shareholders. Phuthuma Nathi companies own 25% of MultiChoice SA.

Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice SA chairman, says the company is delighted to declare a dividend, despite the challenging macro-economic environment.

“With more than 80 000 shareholders from all walks of life, we’re proud of our truly broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) scheme. Our shareholders include domestic helpers, gardeners, professionals, stokvels and small businesses. We believe this dividend will bring much-needed relief during these difficult times,” he says.

“MultiChoice is creating real value with great returns for our shareholders,” notes Phuthuma Nathi chairman Mandla Langa. “Phuthuma Nathi is a B-BBEE success story, thanks to our shareholders who share in our success. This is our living commitment to truly broad-based transformation.”

MultiChoice says it implemented significant changes in the last 18 months to unlock further value for Phuthuma Nathi shareholders.

Firstly, it says: “An additional 5% stake in MultiChoice SA was allocated to Phuthuma Nathi for free. This increased its shareholding in MCSA [MultiChoice SA] from 20% to 25%, which in turn increased the underlying value of Phuthuma Nathi shares.

“Secondly, Phuthuma Nathi shareholders were offered the opportunity to exchange up to 20% of their shares for MultiChoice Group shares, which can be easily sold on the JSE and which also provides exposure to the group’s operations in the rest of Africa, as well as technology business, Irdeto.”

Lastly, MultiChoice says, the two schemes, Phuthuma Nathi and Phuthuma Nathi 2, were combined into one scheme to make it easier for shareholders to trade and to improve liquidity by having all shareholders trading one share.

Since the start of the scheme in 2006, Phuthuma Nathi shareholders have received dividends every year. The total dividend paid to Phuthuma Nathi shareholders to date, including the current year, is R13.4 billion.

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