South African internet and media company Naspers is listing its e-commerce businesses – including its $134 billion stake in the Chinese internet giant Tencent – in Europe, the company said in a press release. The company said it would float these as an entity called NewCo on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam. Naspers said the new company “NewCo”, whose official name will be announced in the coming months, will be “Europe’s largest listed consumer internet company by asset value”. It will also have a secondary, inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa. Naspers will own approximately 75% of NewCo and will list the new entity in the second half of 2019.
Tencent became too big for Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Naspers’ stake in Tencent, which it bought for $32 million in 2001, was getting too big for South African markets. Naspers now constitutes almost 25% of the JSE, compared to 5% just five years ago, and its outsized weighting on the JSE exceeds most South African institutional investors’ single stock limits. As a result, many have been forced to sell as Naspers grows, the company said. Naspers’s Tencent stake is currently worth $134 billion, but its own market value is a shade under $98 billion, according to Fortune. Nasper’s chief financial officer Basil Sgourdos said the company has trimmed its Tencent stake, sold its Flipkart stake, and listed and unbundle MultiChoice Group from Naspers. “After a careful evaluation… the listing on Euronext Amsterdam proved to be the most promising for our future growth plans,” he said.
Naspers raised nearly $10 billion in March 2018 by reducing its stake in Tencent from 33% to 31%, and another $1.6 billion in May that year by selling its 11% stake in Flipkart to Walmart.
In addition to Tencent, NewCo will comprise all of Naspers’s internet interests outside of South Africa, which include OLX, PayU, Swiggy, MakeMyTrip, mail.ru, DeliveryHero and Udemy, according to the company. After the IPO, Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE and will continue to directly hold its South African assets, Takealot and Media24, alongside its majority stake in NewCo, the company said. NewCo’s free float is expected to be created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers shareholders.
Naspers to spend $1 billion in India this year
Earlier this month, Naspers said it wants to spent about $1 billion in India this year as it seeks to replicate its bet on Tencent, and is in talks to inject about $200 million into business loan provider Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo as a first step, Mint reported. In December 2018, Swiggy raised $1 billion in funding led by Naspers, with participation from new investors Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management Company, and existing investors DST Global, Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management. The same month, Naspers and others invested $540 million in education startup Byju’s.