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Multichoice extends Chairman Patel’s tenure to conclude Canal+ deal

The Board of Multichoice Group have announced the extension of the tenure of the company’s Chairman, Imtiaz Patel for him to spearhead the conclusion of the ongoing buyout deal with French media conglomerate Groupe Canal+.

In September last year, the company had announced that Patel would step down. Elias Masilela was set to take over as chair from 1 April 2024.

However, in a notice issued to its shareholders on Tuesday, the company said Patel will remain as chairman until the completion of the ongoing Canal+ transaction, while Masilela, a long-standing non-executive director and the designated Chair, will become the Deputy Chair of the MultiChoice Board.

Earlier in March, South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel ruled that Vivendi SE’s Canal+ is obligated to make a mandatory offer for MultiChoice Group after augmenting its shareholding in the African pay-TV business to over 35%.

The ruling followed MultiChoice’s announcement on February 5, indicating that Canal+’s holdings surpassed the threshold stipulated by South African law, necessitating a mandatory offer to shareholders.

Before that, Canal+ had offered a $2.5 billion acquisition deal to MultiChoice, a Pan-African Pay-TV operator.

Canal+, led by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, proposed 105 rand per share in cash, presenting a 40% premium to MultiChoice’s recent closing price.

Vivendi’s strategy to merge Canal+’s local operations with MultiChoice, is expected to create a conglomerate with nearly 50 million subscribers.

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