Naspers is set to list NewCo, its new global consumer internet group, on Euronext Amsterdam. Though NewCo will have a secondary, inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa many analysts have argued the listing is a huge coup and a transfer of wealth from home to Europe.
According to Naspers, NewCo will comprise all its internet interests outside of South Africa including its companies and investments in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments, etail, travel, education, and social and internet platforms sectors, among others. These include world’s top internet brands, such as Tencent, mail.ru, OLX, Avito, letgo, PayU, iFood, Swiggy, DeliveryHero, Udemy, eMAG and MakeMyTrip.
NewCo will be approximately 75% owned by Naspers and have a free float of approximately 25% to become Europe’s largest listed consumer internet company by asset value.
Bob van Dijk, Naspers Chief Executive Officer, said the move was significant for Naspers because ”It will provide a strong platform to attract incremental investor capital, which is well-aligned to our growth goals as well as become a “new opportunity for international tech investors to have access to our unique portfolio of international internet assets.”
But some would have none of that and still believe Naspers is steadily moving wealth away from reach. The creation of a new executive position and the appointment of someone closer to the president and who has worked in the black community might be one method Naspers is using to pacify the local tech community in South Africa.
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa who is the new CEO, Naspers South Africa will be based in Johannesburg and will report directly to Bob van Dijk, Group CEO of Naspers.
Phuthi will lead the group’s day-to-day business in South Africa and represent its interests in-country as well as run Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs which are focused on accelerating entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Naspers Foundry is a R1.4 billion investment fund targeting technology start-ups in South Africa that seek to address big societal needs. Naspers Foundry recently announced its first investment, a R30 million backing of SweepSouth, the South African-founded online cleaning services platform that connects clients with trusted, reliable domestic cleaners.
Naspers Labs, a social impact initiative designed by Naspers in partnership with RLabs’ Marlon Parker to develop the skills and talent of South Africa’s unemployed youth. Naspers Labs offers the youth tailored online and offline development programmes via youth cafes in impoverished communities.
In October 2018 at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference Naspers said it will inject a further R3.2 billion into its existing South African businesses over three years, and the firm says the investments are already underway.
Phuthi joins Naspers from her Executive Chairperson role at Sigma Capital, a privately held, majority-black owned investment group based in South Africa.
Naspers recently created Naspers’ ADR programme, trimmed its stake in Tencent, Konga and exited a number of businesses in Africa, Flipkart and several others in India and in other emerging markets to focus on its core internet businesses and turn its online classifieds business and several of its other early-stage investments to profitability.
In March 2019, the firm also unbundled MultiChoice Group to existing Naspers shareholders at an initial market capitalisation of US$3.5 billion. The transformation aims to make it a global consumer internet company
“After a careful and comprehensive evaluation of the merits of strategic options available to the group, the listing on Euronext Amsterdam proved to be the most promising for our future growth plans and addressing the market dynamics we wish to tackle,” said Basil Sgourdos, Naspers’ Chief Financial Officer.
Naspers itself will retain its primary listing on the JSE in South Africa, and will continue to directly hold its South African assets, Takealot and Media24, alongside its majority stake in NewCo. Shareholders will also be able to choose to receive more shares in Naspers instead of shares in NewCo. Naspers intends to have the Board and governance structures of NewCo mirror those of Naspers.
Even after the listing of NewCo on Euronext Amsterdam, Naspers assures it will still be listed on the JSE and will still be the biggest by market capitalisation and will as well continue to invest in South Africa.