Jamie Carr Columnist

Way back in the prehistoric era of the internet, when mastodons were emerging from the primeval swamp, Jeff Bezos hadn’t even thought of selling books and the world wide web was known to approximately seven socially challenged individuals, a young Koos Bekker managed to persuade the suits at Naspers to have a flutter on pay TV. This was the first of a series of transformative punts that changed a dull publisher into what is today a leading global consumer internet giant. The sheer size of the thing is such that the announcement that the company is to unbundle its video entertainment business, the MultiChoice group, to shareholders and list it on the JSE hardly causes a ripple. The rationale is for Naspers to do what it can to address the holding company discount; and while it’s spring-cleaning, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Media24 were to find itself on the block as well, on the grounds that Tencent has a little more growth potential than Huisgenoot. It will leave Naspers free ...

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