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Public company
Traded as JSE: NPN
Industry Ecommerce, Internet, Media
Genre Media
Founded 12 May 1915; 101 years ago (1915-05-12)
Headquarters Cape Town, South Africa
Area served
Key people
Bob van Dijk (CEO)
Revenue Increase R73.1 Billion (FY 2015)[1]
Increase R1.6 Billion (FY 2015)[1]
Naspers building in the Cape Town CBD

Naspers is a broad-based multinational internet and media group, offering services in more than 130 countries. Its principal operations are in Internet communication (classifieds, online shopping, marketplaces, online payments and online services), video entertainment and print media. With a market capitalisation of over $66 billion it is the largest company in Africa and the 7th largest Internet company in the world.[2]

Brands and subsidiaries[edit]

Major brands owned by Naspers include:

It also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and (LSE: MAIL).


Naspers was founded in 1915 under the name De Nationale Pers Beperkt (National Press Ltd) as a publisher and printer of newspapers and magazines.[4][5] A group of prominent Cape Afrikaners decided in December 1914 at a meeting in Stellenbosch to form a publishing company that would support Afrikaner nationalism.[6]:290 It was founded by W.A. Hofmeyr, a well-known Cape lawyer. Jannie Marais, a prominent Stellenbosch farmer purchased a quarter of the 20,000 £1 shares in the new company.[6]:290 Naspers first published the Afrikaans language daily De Burger (later renamed Die Burger) in June 1915 which was followed by its first magazine De Huisgenoot (later Die Huisgenoot) in 1916.[7]

In 1918 the company added book publishing to their portfolio[7] which made it one of the most significant media hubs in Africa at the time. In 1985 the company launched the first pay-TV system in the region, M-Net, which marked the company's development from a publisher into a media company. Nasionale Pers officially changed its name to the currently used 'Naspers' in 1998.[7]

Since 1994, the company has been listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa and has designated 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.

The investment in Tencent has skyrocketed the Naspers stock 500% since 2010 due to the success of Tencent and has labelled the company the most valuable in Africa (May 2015) with a market cap of almost USD$66 billion. A unit of international media group Naspers, namely its subsidiary Myriad International Holdings owns a 28.7% stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Russian firm behind investments in notable Internet companies like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. China’s Tencent also made a strategic investment (to the tune of $300 million) in DST, 35% of Tencent being owned by Naspers.


Naspers involvement in the establishment of apartheid in South Africa is mired in controversy. Several directors and editors of the firm and its subsidiaries ended up in high office, including D. F. Malan, H. F. Verwoerd and P. W. Botha.[citation needed]

On 25 July 2015, the company issued an apology to the victims and survivors of the apartheid system, but did not acknowledge any involvement in drafting legislation and advocacy on behalf of race supremacist ideologues.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ le Cordeur, Matthew (10 July 2014). "Naspers joins internet Hall of Fame". Fin24. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "This Craigslist Copycat Gets a Lift From Russia's Recession". 15 March 2016 – via 
  4. ^ "Naspers website: Our history". Company history. Naspers. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Apartheid Inc, the story of Naspers, Media24 and Channel Life". Media Alternatives. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Pretorius, Fransjohan (2014). A History of South Africa: From the Distant Past to the Present Day. Hatsfield, Pretoria: Protea Book House. ISBN 978-1-86919-908-1. 
  7. ^ a b c "Apartheid Inc. – Profile of a racist corporation, June 9, 2010". History Matters. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 

External links[edit]