Naspers to list NewCo in July

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Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.

Media and Internet giant Naspers will list its new global consumer Internet group, NewCo, in July.

In March 2019, Naspers announced its intention to list its international Internet assets on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange in the Netherlands, with a secondary inward listing on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The South African company has now confirmed the listings are planned for 17 July.

Yesterday, Naspers released a circular to shareholders, convening an extraordinary general meeting to be held on 28 June in Cape Town, to discuss its intention to form and list NewCo.

Naspers expects to own no less than 73% of NewCo and the free float is expected to be up to 27%, created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers shareholders.

“As a global consumer Internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, the new group is likely to become the largest listed consumer Internet company by asset value in Europe,” the group says.

The new group will be a strategic investor and operator, and focus on long-term value creation by building leading technology companies in high-growth markets.

It will comprise all of Naspers’ Internet interests outside of South Africa, including its companies and investments in the online classifieds, payments and fintech, food delivery, e-tail, travel, education, and social and Internet platforms sectors, among others.

“These assets are some of the world’s leading and fastest-growing Internet brands, such as, OLX, Avito, letgo, PayU, Tencent, iFood, Swiggy, DeliveryHero, Udemy, eMAG and MakeMyTrip.”

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk believes the listing is “a significant step for Naspers”.

“The planned listing of our international Internet assets on Euronext Amsterdam is progressing well, and we believe it will present a new and attractive opportunity for global tech investors to access our unique portfolio. Since we announced the transaction in March, we have been encouraged by the positive response from investors,” he says.

“The listing will provide the group with a platform for future growth. We expect the Euronext Amsterdam listing to attract significant international investor capital from global funds, European funds and Internet and technology funds, which is well aligned with our growth ambitions.”

The listing of NewCo on Euronext Amsterdam is also expected to reduce significant structural barriers for Naspers.

“We believe that opening up investment to a broader category of investors, while at the same time reducing our weighting on the JSE, will help us maximise shareholder value over time,” Van Dijk notes.

The planed listings follow the unbundling of the MultiChoice group in March, which Naspers said unlocked approximately $3.5 billion for Naspers shareholders.

Van Dijk confirms the group has “no current intention” to list or spin-off its lucrative Chinese Internet investment, Tencent, on a standalone basis, saying Tencent remains “a core asset of the group”.

“Our strategy is to invest in and operate fast-growing companies in high-growth markets, and China is a cornerstone of this strategy and Tencent is our play in China. China is the largest Internet market in the world and Tencent continues to innovate and grow in that market and beyond.”

Local is lekker

Even after the listing of NewCo on Euronext Amsterdam, Naspers will remain the largest South African company listed on the JSE by market capitalisation, and Naspers says it will continue to invest in South Africa.

“Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the South African technology sector and is committed to building its existing Internet and e-commerce companies in the country, as well as stimulating the local tech start-up sector through the Naspers Foundry.

“This is a R1.4 billion investment allocation targeting technology start-ups in South Africa that seek to address big societal needs. This is in addition to the commitment Naspers made in October 2018 at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference to inject a further R3.2 billion into its existing South African businesses, which is already under way,” the group said.

Naspers’ market cap is worth R1.42 trillion and one share on the JSE was priced at R3 226.80 this morning. The group’s stock rose 4% yesterday on the back of the listing news and is up 10.4% over the past year.

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