The black economic empowerment (BEE) companies established by DStv owner MultiChoice are being paid ordinary and special dividends to the tune of R1bn in the current financial year, the pay-TV broadcaster said on Wednesday.
The empowerment companies, Phuthuma Nathi 1 and 2, will receive R400m in an ordinary dividend declared by MultiChoice for its 2012 financial year — a 33% increase over last year’s dividend. Phuthuma Nathi, in turn, is declaring a dividend of 118,5c/share, also an increase of 33%.
MultiChoice established Phuthuma Nathi, which owns 20% of the company, in 2006. Its shares began trading publicly for the first time in December 2011. At the time, it had 120 000 shareholders, the vast majority of them black individuals.
When Phuthuma Nathi was first created, investors could buy in at R10/share upfront, with a further purchase price of R40/share created in the form of debt on the Phuthuma Nathi balance sheet. However, MultiChoice says Phuthuma Nathi will now receive a special dividend of R600m, which will be used to reduce this debt.
“This special dividend will reduce the original debt of R40/share to R17/share,” says MultiChoice SA chairman Nolo Letele. “This will further increase the value of Phuthuma Nathi 1 and 2.” — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media