More than 17 years ago, then Naspers CEO Koos Bekker ventured to China and made what is now acknowledged as one of the best investment bets in history. Bekker's gamble of buying into Tencent happened at the tail end of the dotcom boom that left so many investors aggrieved about technology stocks. However, the Tencent investment has steadily delivered spectacular returns to the Naspers stable. Such returns have predictably courted controversy and concern among various stakeholders. The Naspers group is a conglomeration of businesses in the media, internet and technology space. The internet business, which is where Naspers classifies Tencent, has managed to remain profitable and cover up for losses sustained in other parts of the business. More disturbingly, the value of the Tencent investment on its own supersedes the value of the Naspers business at large. This bizarre state of affairs means that investors allocate no value to the rest of the Naspers business portfolios. This leads ...

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.