Naspers sets date for Euronext listing

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The Amsterdam-listed company will have a free float of up to 27%, which Naspers believes will attract more investors to its global internet assets

Naspers plans to list its global internet assets under a new company on Amsterdam’s Euronext market on 19 July.

The group says the new global consumer internet group, which it’s calling NewCo for now, will include all its internet assets outside of SA, 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. It says assets including, OLX, Avito, letgo, PayU, Tencent, iFood, Swiggy, DeliveryHero, Udemy, eMAG, and MakeMyTrip are some of the world’s leading and fastest growing internet brands. NewCo will also include its 31% stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent.

Naspers says NewCo is likely to become the largest listed consumer internet company by value in Europe. It will retain at least 73% of NewCo, giving the new company a free float of up to 27% that it believes will attract more investors. It will have a secondary listing on the JSE. The listing is expected to reduce significant structural barriers for Naspers and represents another major step by management to pursue continued growth and create value for shareholders. This action follows the unbundling of MultiChoice Group in March, which unlocked approximately $3.5bn for Naspers shareholders.

Naspers said its rapid growth into one of the top 10 global internet companies had resulted in it making up almost a quarter of the JSE’s shareholder-weighted SWIX index, compared to just 5% five years ago. It said its outsized weighting on the JSE exceeded most SA institutional investors’ single stock limited, forcing them to sell their shares. The listing on Euronext Amsterdam would help address this, it said. It will retain its primary listing on the JSE, with direct stakes in Takealot and Media24, alongside its majority stake in NewCo. Shareholders will receive shares in the new company or can choose to receive more shares in Naspers instead, subject to certain limits.

After the listing of NewCo, Naspers expects to remain the largest SA company listed on the JSE by market capitalisation and will continue to invest in SA by 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. The R1.4bn investment allocation targets technology start-ups that seek to address big societal needs. This is in addition to the commitment Naspers made in last October at the inaugural SA Investment Conference to inject a further R3.2bn into its existing local businesses, which is already underway.

“Since we announced the transaction in March, we have been encouraged by the positive response from investors,” CEO Bob van Dijk said.” We believe that it will present a new and attractive opportunity for global tech investors to access our unique portfolio.”

Naspers will hold a general meeting on 28 June to get shareholder approval.

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