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    PRX   NL0013654783

PROSUS N.V.

(PRX)
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Real-time Quote. Real-time Euronext Amsterdam - 09/24 11:35:13 am
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Prosus faces investor criticism over $144 million fee for Naspers share swap

07/27/2021 | 01:57pm EDT

* Fees include 95 mln euros of securities transfer tax

* Fees are three times more than Prosus listing fees

JOHANNESBURG, July 27 (Reuters) - Technology investor Prosus will pay up to $144 million in transaction fees when it buys a block of parent company Naspers' shares, according to a document submitted to stock exchanges on July 12, prompting criticism from some investors.

The fees total more than Prosus' free cashflow for the year ended March 31, and are almost three times more than Naspers paid in 2019 to list Prosus on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Some 95 million euros of the fees will be to cover securities transfer tax (STT), according to the document, reviewed by Reuters. The rest will be for costs such as fees for bankers, lawyers and accountants.

Prosus was spun out of Naspers in 2019 to hold the South African group's international assets, including its 29% stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent. Naspers hoped the move would reduce the discount its shares traded to the value of its holding in Tencent.

However, the discount kept widening.

To try to address this, Prosus said in May it would issue new shares to buy up to 45.4% of Naspers in a share swap deal.

The deal will move more of Naspers' Tencent stake to Amsterdam from Johannesburg and, according to the two firms, help Naspers close the value gap to its Tencent stake because Prosus' stock is more highly valued than Naspers'.

The deal will also increase Prosus' free float on Euronext.

"The overall costs are less than 1% of the total value unlock that happens on day one as result of exchanging high discount Naspers shares to lower discount Prosus shares," Prosus told Reuters via email.

Some shareholders are unhappy with the costs after they had opposed the deal, saying it would create a complicated cross-holding structure that might increase the discount.

"I wouldn't want to see such huge amounts of money being paid," said Peter Takaendesa, head of equities at Mergence Investment Managers in South Africa.

"It is quite material, especially if we are comparing the two transactions," he said, referring to the fees paid during the listing of Prosus.

Mergence was among 36 fund managers from South Africa who wrote to Prosus' management in June opposing the transaction.

In a shareholder vote on July 9 that required a majority to pass, the transaction won 90% backing although up to 47% of outside shareholders in Prosus voted against it. Naspers holds over 73% of Prosus.

"We always work hard to please our shareholders while recognising that we have tens of thousands of shareholders with varying perspectives," Prosus said in its statement to Reuters, adding that the majority vote at the Prosus extraordinary general meeting "confirms shareholder support for the transaction."

When Naspers listed Prosus in 2019, it paid 29 million euros to financial advisers, compared with the 20 million euros Prosus will pay them for the share swap, the document shows.

Prosus did not have to pay any securities transaction tax for the 2019 listing, though investors said that did not address their discontent with the transaction costs.

"When you're doing a bad transaction, and a transaction that many shareholders have expressed a concern on, then any amount you pay is too much," said Rajay Ambekar, CEO at Excelsia Capital, a Cape Town-based asset manager with shares in Naspers.

"It is a real cost that shareholders are having to bear."

($1 = 0.8491 euros)

($1 = 14.8968 rand) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee Editing by Rachel Armstrong, Mark Potter and Barbara Lewis)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX 0.01% 511.94 Delayed Quote.-2.97%
DOW JONES SOUTH AFRICA(ZAR) 0.00% 1869.66 Delayed Quote.6.01%
NASPERS LIMITED 2.16% 2479.82 End-of-day quote.-17.87%
PROSUS N.V. -0.81% 70.21 Real-time Quote.-19.90%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX -0.31% 165.97 Delayed Quote.-3.54%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.65% 460.2 End-of-day quote.-18.40%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2022 7 214 M - -
Net income 2022 6 968 M - -
Net cash 2022 935 M - -
P/E ratio 2022 12,9x
Yield 2022 0,07%
Capitalization 262 B 262 B -
EV / Sales 2022 36,2x
EV / Sales 2023 28,5x
Nbr of Employees 23 939
Free-Float 53,2%
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Number of Analysts 21
Last Close Price 70,78 €
Average target price 115,24 €
Spread / Average Target 62,8%
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Managers and Directors
Robert van Dijk Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Vasileios Sgourdos CFO, Financial Director & Executive Director
Jacobus Petrus Bekker Non-Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Patrick Luke Kolek Group Chief Operating Officer
David Tudor Group General Counsel & Compliance Officer
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