Financial

Naspers considers listing some e-commerce units

Naspers has investments in e-commerce platforms such as auction sites, classifieds and online retail.
Naspers has investments in e-commerce platforms such as auction sites, classifieds and online retail.

Naspers is considering listing some of its e-commerce ventures in Hong Kong or New York, CEO Bob van Dyk said yesterday.

This would form part of its efforts to narrow the discount between its market value and that of its stake in Tencent.

Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, Naspers has transformed from a newspaper publisher into Africa's biggest company, a $106 billion behemoth with private equity-style investments in e-commerce platforms such as auction sites, classifieds and online retail.

Naspers owes its hefty valuation to a 31% stake in Tencent, which is worth $154 billion, or roughly 40% more than Naspers. The discount has prompted some investors to urge Van Dyk to find ways to narrow it.

"We are looking at listing part of our business on other exchanges, and Hong Kong is one of our options, US is an option and there are other options as well," Van Dyk told Reuters on the side-lines of the BRICS summit in Sandton.

"We are working through those and we think we will be able to communicate with the market about that in the not too distant future."

Van Dyk, at the helm since 2014, also said the discount would be closed when the company's other e-commerce ventures swing into profit.

Naspers said last month the e-commerce division, which excludes Tencent and houses assets such as OLX, the biggest classifieds site in India and Brazil, narrowed its core losses, or losses on the EBITDA level, by 10% to $615 million.

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