Foreign exposure: Naspers has limited revenue generation from SA through MultiChoice. Its big gains come from its 31.1% holding in Chinese firm Tencent. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Foreign exposure: Naspers has limited revenue generation from SA through MultiChoice. Its big gains come from its 31.1% holding in Chinese firm Tencent. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Listed technology investor Naspers said on Monday it has completed its R22.4bn share buyback.  

In January, the group sold €1.5bn (R30.6bn) worth of shares in its Amsterdam-listed consumer internet subsidiary Prosus, intending to repatriate the proceeds to SA to buy back its own shares.

The company said the share repurchase programme was completed on March 24  2020.

Since the commencement of the programme in January, a total of 9,156,705 Naspers N-ordinary shares have been repurchased, representing about 2.06% of the issued Naspers N-ordinary shares before the programme, for a total of R22.4bn inclusive of transaction costs.

The transaction represents an average cost of R2,447.11 per share.

“Naspers is pleased with the performance of this programme which through the sale of shares of Prosus with a lower discount to net asset value and the repurchase of Naspers N-ordinary shares with a larger discount, unlocked about R3.3bn in value,” said the company.

The shares repurchased in terms of the programme have been cancelled and delisted. As a result, Naspers now has 435,511,058 N-ordinary shares in issue.

Back in January, Naspers sold 22-million shares in Prosus for €67.50 (R1,073 at the time) per share, a 4.7% discount to Prosus’s closing price on 21 January, cutting the Cape Town-based company’s stake in Prosus to 72.5% from 73.8%.  

The deal comes as a valuation gap between Prosus and its underlying assets widens due to a rally in the stock price of its biggest money spinner, Tencent. Prosus’s one-third stake in Tencent dwarfs its own capitalisation despite the company owning a clutch of e-commerce platforms such the US online classified business letgo and Russia’s internet group mail.ru.  

As part of efforts to narrow the discount, Naspers listed Prosus in September 2019, hoping to attract European investors who had been starved of a sizeable internet player.  

Shares in Naspers were 3.06% higher on Monday, closing at R2,618.26. 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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