Motsepe could join Canal+ bid for MultiChoice

Billionaire Patrice Motsepe is in talks with Groupe Canal+ to join the French broadcaster’s multibillion-dollar bid for broadcaster MultiChoice Group, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bringing South Africa’s richest black man into the deal would likely help the French media conglomerate meet the country’s stringent black ownership requirements, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is still private.

Representatives for both Canal+ and Motsepe’s investment company, African Rainbow Capital, declined to comment. Discussions are at an early stage and there is no guarantee that an agreement will be reached, said the people.

Canal+ has built up a holding above 35% in MultiChoice, South Africa’s biggest pay-TV group, triggering a mandatory takeover offer. If the Vivendi Group-owned French broadcaster can navigate the country’s limits on foreign media ownership, it will gain greater access to African markets, home to the world’s fastest-growing and youngest population.

Canal+ is expected to make a formal offer for MultiChoice at N$125 per share, valuing the company at about N$55-billion, before 8 April for consideration by the board’s independent members, said the people. The French company had pushback from MultiChoice on its earlier offer of N$105/share.