Canal+ Proposes Official $2.9 Billion Takeover Offer to MultiChoice

The Story

Canal Plus, a prominent French media company, is poised to acquire Multichoice, Africa’s largest media investor and storytelling powerhouse.


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Vivendi SE’s Canal+ has officially made an all-cash bid to acquire the MultiChoice Group, placing a valuation of $2.9 billion (R35 billion) on the South African pay-TV operator’s shares. The proposal, disclosed in a filing on Monday, entails Canal+ offering to purchase shares at 125 rands each. This move comes as part of Canal+’s strategy to expand its presence in Africa and capitalize on the continent’s burgeoning market.

Following the bid, MultiChoice will convene a newly established independent board to deliberate on the offer. Despite initial reservations, MultiChoice shares have surged by 25% since Canal+ first expressed interest in acquiring the broadcaster back in February. To navigate regulatory hurdles in South Africa regarding foreign media ownership, Canal+ may enlist the support of South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, though discussions are still in the early stages.

Canal+ has gradually increased its stake in MultiChoice since 2020, surpassing a 35% holding this year, thereby necessitating a mandatory takeover offer. Vivendi’s intention to list Canal+ as a separate entity aligns with its strategy to capitalize on growth opportunities in Africa and Asia. MultiChoice’s board has engaged Standard Bank as an advisor for the transaction, with both companies affirming that a combined entity would be better equipped to tackle the evolving dynamics of the media and entertainment industry amidst digitalization and globalization.

Key Background

Canal+ (Canal Plus), a French premium television channel, was established in 1984 and is currently owned by Groupe Canal+. The channel offers a diverse range of programming, primarily encrypted, with unencrypted content available on Canal+ and Canal+ Clair via satellite. Notably, Canal+ does not feature advertising, except during free-to-air broadcasts. The channel provides foreign films and series either in their original language with French subtitles or dubbed in French, ensuring accessibility for viewers with different language preferences and needs. Additionally, Canal+ offers subtitles in French for the hearing impaired and provides audio descriptions for visually impaired audiences.

As a proponent of the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) initiative, Canal+ advocates for the adoption of an open European standard for hybrid set-top boxes, facilitating the integration of broadcast TV and broadband multimedia applications with a unified user interface.

Since November 2017, Canal+ has expanded its content reach globally through the Canal+ International feed, broadening its catalogue beyond its domestic audience.


The proposed takeover offer by Canal+ to MultiChoice could have significant implications for the long-term outlook of the broadcasting industry in Africa. This move signals a potential shift in the competitive landscape, with Canal+ aiming to expand its footprint and influence in the region. As one of the largest players in the global broadcasting market, Canal+’s increased presence in Africa could stimulate greater competition and innovation within the industry.

Moreover, the acquisition bid underscores the growing importance of the African market in the global media landscape. With Africa being home to the world’s fastest-growing and youngest population, there is immense potential for growth and investment in the broadcasting sector. Canal+’s interest in MultiChoice reflects a broader trend of international media companies seeking to capitalize on Africa’s burgeoning market, driven by increasing urbanization, rising disposable incomes, and expanding access to digital technology.

Furthermore, the proposed acquisition may pave the way for greater diversity and inclusion in the content offered to African audiences. By combining resources and expertise, Canal+ and MultiChoice could potentially collaborate on producing high-quality, culturally relevant programming that resonates with viewers across the continent. This could lead to a richer and more diverse media landscape, offering a wider range of voices and perspectives to African audiences and contributing to the overall development of the continent’s broadcasting industry.

The cons of this takeover deal are that there will be local job losses, a motivated review of investment based on regional performance evaluation and more so – “French Executives ultimately get to determine the direction of African storytelling.

In Summary

A full deal term hasn’t been confirmed but an operational agreement has been entered by both parties with every investor, producer and media executive on the continent tracking a regulatory repeal or a modulated successful takeover

Thanks for Reading. covers the big creators and players in the African film/TV industry and how they do business. 

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