Up until now, corporate raiders that have come sniffing around Naspers, and I'm sure there have been quite a few, have encountered something of a fortress. The board has ensured through its rather complex controlling structure that it is virtually impossible to make a play for Africa's biggest media company without its buy-in. Through the shareholding structure, the Koos Bekker-led board have shares that have about 1000 times the voting rights of normal shareholders. More than a decade ago, PSG's Jannie Mouton made a play for some of these high-voting shares, but lost that battle, ensuring that the company's future has, as always, been decided in its Cape Town headquarters. With control sewn up, the board has gone about its business, not really fussed by concerns of the investment public, whose reservations could largely be ignored for the sake of "long-term" vision. For a media company, a business about new ideas, there is merit in some level of management control, something that a...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.