Why Naspers is listing its Internet businesses in Amsterdam - TechCentral

Why Naspers is listing its Internet businesses in Amsterdam

Bob van Dijk

Naspers, the biggest investor in Chinese tech giant Tencent, is spinning off its main Internet businesses in Amsterdam in a push to boost its value.

The units the South African company will list on Euronext Amsterdam include its 31% stake in Tencent, as well as holdings in Russian Internet platform Mail.ru, German food delivery business Delivery Hero and Indian e-commerce startup Swiggy, Naspers said in a statement.

The listing is the next step of Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk’s plan to try to reduce the gap between the company’s market value of about R1.4-trillion (US$97.9-billion) and its Tencent stake, worth about $133-billion. Van Dijk this month spun out the company’s pay-television company MultiChoice, to focus Naspers entirely on consumer Internet businesses.

Naspers, Africa’s largest company, accounts for about 25% of the weighting on the JSE with its primary listing. It’s seen its value ebb and flow with the limits of South African institutional investors and emerging market sentiment.

“When the transaction is complete about a quarter of the Naspers market value will have moved from the JSE,” Van Dijk said in a phone interview.

Shares rise

Naspers shares rose 1.6% as of 9.49am in Johannesburg. Shares of Tencent were down 3.2%.

The new Internet unit, called NewCo until it gets a name, is expected to be 75% owned by Naspers, with the rest a free float. It will be the largest Internet investment company on the Euronext and the third largest overall, Van Dijk said.

Naspers chose Amsterdam partly because it’s a “great place to attract talent”, Van Dijk said. The listing requirements are very similar to the JSE and the company can keep the same management and board, he said.  — (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP

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