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Naspers plans to spin off, list pay-TV unit

Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, Naspers has transformed itself from a newspaper publisher into a $94 billion behemoth.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Naspers unveiled plans on Monday to spin-off and separately list its pay-TV unit, the first major move aimed at narrowing a discount between its market value and that of its Chinese money spinner, Tencent.

Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Naspers has transformed itself from a newspaper publisher into a $94 billion behemoth but it owes all of that valuation to its one-third stake in China’s Tencent.

“Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling is expected to unlock value for Naspers shareholders,” Naspers said in a statement.

The stake in Tencent is worth around $155 billion, or 40% more than Naspers despite the company owning other assets such as the pay-TV unit MultiChoice, which is a de facto monopoly in Africa.

Shares in Naspers rose 0.8% to 3,208 rand as of 1423 GMT. ($1 = R14.8956)