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Prosus to buy shares in parent Naspers as valuations lag Tencent stake

By Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Amsterdam-based technology investor Prosus NV on Wednesday announced plans to acquire up to 45.4% of shares in its parent Naspers of South Africa by issuing new Prosus shares in a deal aimed at moving part of the value of their massive stake in Tencent to Europe from Africa.

Naspers, which has a controlling stake in Prosus and would retain control, hopes the deal will improve valuations for both companies.

Both trade at a discount to the value of the massive 28.9% stake that Prosus holds in Chinese software and gaming giant Tencent Holdings, worth 172 billion euros ($208.6 billion) at current market prices.

“The share offer we have announced today will extend Prosus’s standing as Europe’s largest internet company,” said Bob van Dijk, CEO of both companies, in a statement.

He said Prosus shareholders would benefit as the Naspers N shares Prosus will buy trade at a deeper discount to the value of the Tencent stake than Prosus shares do. In recent weeks Naspers shares have traded at a discount of around 25% to the Tencent stake value, while Prosus trades at a 15% discount.

Naspers shareholders should see their share price trade more in line with the value of the Tencent stake, and Naspers will remain the largest company on the Johannesburg stock exchange, the companies said.

They said they expect the deal to be implemented in the third quarter of 2021.

The deal would increase Prosus’s float on the Euronext stock exchange to around 60% from around 27% at present, making it eligible for inclusion among indexes of Europe’s largest companies.

($1 = 0.8247 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Jason Neely and Stephen Coates)