Naspers might list parts of it empire outside SA, CEO Bob van Dijk says
Naspers is considering listing certain parts of its sprawling global media and technology business outside SA, as the continent’s largest company by market value seeks to reduce its size.
The company takes the difference in value between its stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent and the firm as a whole "very seriously", CEO Bob van Dijk said in an interview on Thursday. Naspers’s weighting on the JSE of more than 19% is also too high and forces some investors to reduce their holdings, he added.
That said, Naspers was committed to retaining a primary listing on the JSE, the CEO said.
"The logical next step would be to list parts of the business to see of we can reduce the overall size," he said. "We are discussing with our board."
For years, Naspers has ridden the back of an early-stage investment in Tencent that has paid off many times over. The company has since scoured the globe for opportunities to replicate that success, and has put cash into ventures ranging from online travel agents in India, food delivery in Brazil and education software in the US
There were still plenty of investment opportunities available, meaning Naspers isn’t considering a buyback, Van Dijk said.
The shares rose 0.4% to R3,321.77 as at 3.37pm, valuing the company at almost R1.5-trillion.
Mobile-payment technology has been identified as a cornerstone of Naspers’s investment strategy, Van Dijk said. It will spend "several billion" dollars in the industry, with the most recent purchase being Zooz in Israel. Online education — particularly in skills such as writing code — is another high-potential area, while future markets include technology to help the elderly.
"We believe the world needs tens of millions more software engineers," Van Dijk said. "Online education is an area we’re really excited about."