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Naspers to list businesses that hold Tencent stake on Euronext

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05/29/2019 | 05:00am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of stock market operator Euronext is seen on a building in the financial district of la Defense in Courbevoie

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - South African conglomerate Naspers plans to float consumer internet businesses with assets valued at more than 100 billion euros ($112 billion) on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam on July 17, the media and tech group said on Wednesday.

Naspers will retain a 73% stake in the new company, which will hold assets including Naspers' 31.2 percent stake in China's Tencent, as well as its OLX classified businesses in India and Brazil and its U.S. business, letgo.

Naspers shareholders will receive shares representing 27% of the new company when it lists, Naspers said in a statement. Naspers first outlined the plan in March.

Naspers is motivated by the sheer size of its Tencent stake. The stake was worth 967 billion Hong Kong dollars, or 110 billion euros, as of Wednesday -- well more than Naspers itself.

Naspers shares were up 1.8 percent to 315,189 South African rand in Johannesburg on Wednesday, giving it a market capitalisation of 1.37 trillion rand, or 82.7 billion euros.

Tencent's rapid growth has led to Naspers' valuation accounting for more than 25 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's Top 40 share index. That makes it problematic for South African pension funds and other investors in Africa to buy Naspers shares or South African indexes without disproportionate exposure to Asian tech giant Tencent.

"What we're listing is really a new global consumer internet group that comprises all of our international internet assets," Chief Executive Bob van Dijk told reporters on a call.

"This is a new opportunity for global tech investors to access our unique portfolio."

He added he hoped the listing would lead to a reduction in the discount with which Naspers trades to its underlying assets.

Naspers' other difficult-to-value internet assets include shares in a number of emerging market ventures including Russia's biggest social network mail.ru, online travel companies including MakeMyTrip in India, and food delivery services including Brazil's iFood.

The e-commerce businesses generate $3.3 billion in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, from sales of nearly $16 billion, with Tencent accounting for virtually all the earnings.

This year Naspers also spun out Multichoice, which dominates the African pay-TV market.

($1 = 0.8961 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Susan Fenton)

By Toby Sterling

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) 0.10% 4.5966 Delayed Quote.3.92%
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