|Traded as||JSE: NPN|
|Industry||Ecommerce, Internet, Media|
|Founded||12 May 1915|
|Headquarters||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Key people||Bob van Dijk (CEO)|
|Revenue||R62.7 Billion (FY 2014)|
|Operating income||R8.6 Billion (FY 2014)|
Naspers is a global platform operator with principal operations in internet services, especially ecommerce ( i.e. classifieds, online retail, marketplaces, online comparison shopping, payments and online services); pay television (direct-to-home satellite services, digital terrestrial television services and online services) and print media.
Founded in 1915, their primary listing is on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa. Listed since 1994, they have grown to be part of the Top 10 index over the past number of years. They also have a Level I American Depository Receipt programme (ADR programme) listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and trade on an over-the-counter (OTC) basis. International investors account for around 50% of their shareholder base.
Naspers was founded as De Nationale Pers (Dutch for "The National Press") on 12 May 1915. The company started as a printer and publisher of newspaper and magazines. Between 1920 and 1979 it added book publishing to its newspaper and magazine printing and publishing operations, growing into one of Africa's largest media groups.
In 1985, Naspers, together with several other South African media companies, formed its electronic Pay-TV business, M-Net. in 1990, M-Net was listed in the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (now JSE Limited).
In October 1993, M-Net was divided into two companies. The subscriber management, signal distribution and cellular telephone businesses, together with a holding in FilmNet (a pay-television operator in Europe) were placed into a new company called MultiChoice Limited (later named MIH Holdings Limited).
Nasionale Pers itself listed on JSE on 12 September 1994. and
In 1995, Richemont S.A.,the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company, and MultiChoice Limited merged their global pay-television operations − including the interest in FilmNet, MultiChoice’s operations in Africa, and Richemont’s interest in Telepiu − into a single venture called NetHold B.V., which MultiChoice held through its subsidiary, MIH Limited. in January 1997, MIH Limited created an internet service provider: MWEB Holdings
In March 1997, MIH Limited and Richemont merged most of NetHold’s assets with Canal+, the France-based pay-television operator. MIH Limited retains NetHold’s African, Mediterranean and Middle East pay-television businesses and acquired 49% of Irdeto Access from Canal+. MIH Limited also received a small interest in Canal+. MIH Limited subsequently sold its interest in Canal+ to fund its expansion plans, including the purchase of the remainder of Irdeto Access from Canal+; the purchase of a 31.1% interest in the Thai pay-television operator UBC; and the purchase of a 44.5% interest in OpenTV, a technology company for set-top box operating systems and software.
In March 1998, MWEB Holdings was spun off as a listed entity on the JSE. MWEB was subsequently delisted, and Naspers holds 100% of the economic interest in the company. In the same year, the group changed its name to Naspers.
In November 1999 OpenTV and MIH Limited were listed in NASDAQ.
In 2000, all the print and media businesses were organised and branded under the Media24 umbrella.
In May 2001, Naspers acquired a 46.5% interest in Tencent Holdings Limited, the operator of an instant messaging platform in China called QQ, which subsequently developed into the leading business of its kind in China. In the same year, M-Net and SuperSport were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and were subsequently delisted from both the JSE and Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2004, after Naspers acquired an additional interest in both businesses.
in August 2002, MIH sold its stake in OpenTV.
In December 2002, following a restructuring, Naspers’ minority interests in MIH Holdings and MIH Limited were swapped for shares in Naspers itself, and they became wholly owned subsidiaries of Naspers. Holders of MIH Limited shares, resident in any country other than South Africa, received their interest in Naspers shares in the form of Naspers’ American Depositary Shares (ADSs). MIH Holdings shares were delisted from the JSE and MIH Limited’s shares were delisted from NASDAQ. At the same time, Naspers’ ADSs were listed on NASDAQ.
In June 2004, Tencent listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Naspers’ holding is consequently diluted to 35%. The group currently holds an effective 34% stake, with the holding being reduced due to Tencent issuing shares for its share incentive scheme. In December 2004, MIH acquired a 9.9% strategic stake in Beijing Media Corporation, one of China's biggest newspaper companies.
In February 2005, MWEB acquired the internet interests of Tiscali in South Africa. In March of the same year, Naspers consolidated all its print media, book publishing (Via Afrika) and private education (Educor) assets under the Media24 umbrella in order to simplify the group's structure.
In May 2006, Naspers acquired a 30% interest in the Brazilian media group Editora Abril for US$422m. The rationale for the transaction was to provide an entry into the internet in the growing Brazilian media market.
In September 2006, Media24 launched a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) share offer, Welkom Yizani, which offered eligible black people and black groups an indirect interest of 15% in Media24. The offer was three times oversubscribed, with over 100 000 applications receiving 14.6 million Welkom Yizani ordinary shares.
During the last quarter of 2006, MultiChoice South Africa (MCSA) completed two successful B-BBEE transactions. Called Phuthuma Nathi, the first transaction offered an indirect interest of 15% in the MCSA pay-television and internet business to eligible black people and groups. The offer is three times over-subscribed with around 120 000 applications receiving 45 million Phuthuma Nathi ordinary shares on offer. A second transaction offered a further indirect interest of 7.5% to those applicants who did not receive their full allocation in the first Phuthuma Nathi and Welkom Yizani offers. This offer was more than twice over-subscribed. Approximately 3 500 applications receive 22.5 million ordinary shares on offer.
In total, Phuthuma Nathi shareholders end up holding 22.5% in MCSA. The acquisition of the remaining 40% interest in M-Net and SuperSport (detailed below), settled by issuing MCSA shares, dilutes the Phuthuma Nathi shareholding to 20%.
In December 2006, MIH acquired an interest in the Russian internet business, Port.ru Inc (mail.ru). MIH subsequently increased its interest in Mail.ru to 42.88% in March 2009.
Early in 2007, MIH participated in a capital raising exercise by Naspers. The marketed offering of US$750 million was two times over-subscribed and the allocation was raised to US$875 million. A successful green shoe – or over-allotment option – increased the proceeds by a further 15%. In May of the same year, Naspers was delisted from the NASDAQ and listed on the London Stock Exchange as a secondary listing.
In October 2007, MWEB Africa successfully completed the acquisition of Afsat, the leading African satellite ISP, and in November 2007, Naspers finalised its acquisition of a 40% interest in M-Net and SuperSport International Holdings Limited (SuperSport). The transaction was settled by issuing 21,6 million Naspers shares and R250 million in cash. The Group also acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Cloakware Inc, a US company providing software security solutions.
In March 2008, Naspers acquired 100% of Tradus (formerly QXL and listed on the London Stock Exchange), a leading provider of C2C ecommerce platforms in Central and Eastern Europe for GBP946 million. Tradus is subsequently delisted from the London Stock Exchange and the group is reorganised into Allegro and Ricardo.
In addition, Gadu-Gadu, a leading instant-messaging (IM) platform in Poland, is purchased and subsequently delisted from the Warsaw exchange. In the same year, MIH increased its interest in Nimbuzz, which focuses on IM, mobile VoIP and telecommunications; invests in BuzzCity, a developer of global wireless communities and consumer services; ACL Wireless, a mobile solutions company in India, and Compera nTime, a leading provider of mobile value-added services in Brazil.
In August 2008, Naspers sold its Greek and Cypriot pay-television operations, Netmed, for EUR490m.
In 2009, Allegro acquired an 83.2% interest in Bankier.pl, a leading Warsaw-listed Polish financial portal, and a 75% interest in Arukereso in Hungary, which offers online price comparison services in Central Eastern Europe. In addition, MIH acquired a 51% interest in Sulit.com.ph, a leading classifieds business in the Philippines. The stake increased to 75% in 2012, and then to 83% in 2013.
In September 2009, MIH acquired 91% of BuscaPe, a leading ecommerce company offering online price comparison services in Latin America for US$342m.
In October 2009, the group subscribed for an additional 11.9% in Mail.ru, to enable mail.ru to acquire 100% of Astrum Online Entertainment(Astrum), the largest games developer and games platform operator in Russia. The Competition Commission approves the acquisition of 51% of Korbitec by Property24. This is increases to 85% in August 2012. In November 2009, Telkom agreed to buy MWeb Africa from MIH.
During 2010, Naspers, through its subsidiaries, continued to make acquisitions in the ecommerce space. These included a 30% interest in Brandsclub in Brazil, 29.9% of Iceni Mobile, 25% of Dubizzle (this increased to 54% in 2013), 100%of Cyclelogic, 74% if Multiply, LevelUp!, and 67.8% of OLX (this stake increased to 95% over time).
In July 2010, MIH B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Naspers, successfully priced its US$700 million 6.375% notes due 2017. These notes, fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Naspers, were subsequently listed on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange and the proceeds were used for general corporate purposes.
In August 2010, Naspers consolidated its internet assets in Russia, acquiring a 28.7% stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST), a prominent internet company in Russian-speaking markets, in exchange for its 39.3% investment in Mail.ru and US$388 million in cash. DST was subsequently renamed Mail.ru Group and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2011, the group acquired 77.7% of 7Pixel, 100% of Slando, 80% of Markafoni,and 90% of Fashion Days. In addition, in September 2011, Naspers sold its 30% interest in MXit Lifestyle to South African investment group World of Avatar.
In 2012, Naspers acquired a 51% stake in Travel Boutique, a stake in Vtex in Brazil, 79% of Netretail, 97% of Agito.pl, 10% of Flipkart (which later increased to 19%), 70% of eMag, 65% of FixeAds, 30% of Souq (later increasing it to 48%), 65% of Tokobagus, and 51% of LazienkaPlus.
In 2013, the group acquired 25% of Konga.com, 18.6% of Avito.ru, 80% of redBus.com, and 47% of PayProp.
In July 2013, MIH B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Naspers, successfully priced its US$1 billion 6.0% notes due 2020. These notes, fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Naspers, were subsequently listed on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange and the proceeds used for general corporate purposes.
In November 2013, McGregor BFA, a subsidiary of Naspers, acquired 100% of I-Net Bridge to form INET BFA. In January 2014, Sulit brought Property24, the South African-based real estate classifieds site, into the Philippines, and in March 2014, Naspers injected an additional US$75m into Souq.com.
Between March and May 2014, the group consolidated its online classified services in the Philippines, Thailand, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Indonesia into one brand: - OLX.
In May 2014, Naspers acquired a 26% interest in SimilarWeb in Tel Aviv, a web measurement tool that provides online marketing professionals with web analytics and competitive intelligence for any site on the internet.
Naspers provides services in over 130 countries worldwide. Over the past few years, they have established significant operations in fast growing regions including Africa, China, Brazil and the rest of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
As a multinational group of ecommerce and media brands, they understand how to identify consumer needs, read technology trends, manage entrepreneurs, write code, develop solutions to consumer problems and service their needs. They put users worldwide in touch with trading opportunities, entertainment, information, gaming and access to their friends.
Their strategy is to aspire to be strong operators in the ecommerce space. The group's focus is on stepping-up growth in classifieds, driving scale and expanding their footprint in their B2C businesses, pushing further on new growth areas and prioritising mobile.
The group's Pay-TV strategy is to deliver quality entertainment “anytime, anywhere and on any device”. They are focused on capturing the growth opportunity in digital terrestrial television (DTT) across Africa and on investing in online content delivery options.
- MultiChoice Africa
- DStv Digital Media
- DStv Media Sales