BRIAN KANTOR: Bosses must realise Naspers’s true value
The Naspers managers have undertaken a very active and ambitiously expensive investment programme
The defence I would make on behalf of Naspers managers is that the difference between the market value of Naspers and the market value of its stake in Tencent and other listed entities has narrowed sharply, to the clear benefit of Naspers shareholders. This difference had widened almost continuously since 2014, and was as much as R800bn in early 2018. It has recently halved to about R400bn. But the Naspers managers have done much more than hold a stake in Tencent. Had they done nothing more than this, Naspers would be worth an extra R400bn. They have undertaken a very active and ambitiously expensive investment programme. They have invested the growing flow of dividends they receive from Tencent into this programme and have raised much extra equity and debt capital to fund their investments.Given the difference between the value of Naspers and the value of its listed assets (overwhelmingly Tencent), it is clear the marketplace has a very poor regard for the ability of this investmen...