FILE PHOTO: A MultiChoice logo is displayed outside the company’s building in Cape Town, South Africa February 2, 2024. REUTERS/Esa Alexander/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 28 (Reuters) – South Africa’s takeover panel has ruled that French media company Groupe Canal+ SA is required to make a mandatory offer immediately to buy shares of pay-TV company MultiChoice MCGJ.J that it does not already own, MultiChoice said on Wednesday.

Canal Plus, the biggest shareholder, earlier this month offered to buy the rest of the company.

It held a 31.67% stake at the time which rose to 35.01% shortly afterwards, topping a 35% threshold where a mandatory offer is required.

Its offer of 105 rand per share was rejected by the board of MultiChoice, saying it significantly undervalued the group.

“The panel rules that Canal+ must take immediate action to comply with the requirements of.. the (Companies) Act and the regulations by making a mandatory offer to the remaining shareholders of MultiChoice,” the Takeover Regulations Panel (TRP) said in its ruling.

Canal Plus had argued it was not required to make a mandatory offer as MultiChoice’s memorandum of incorporation restricts foreign companies from holding more than 20% of the broadcaster’s voting rights.

The TRP rejected this argument.


($1 = 19.1285 rand)

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Jacqueline Wong)