A letter sent this week to the non-executive boards of Naspers and Prosus seeks “constructive engagement” and “sends a strong message to the board” that a significant group of South African and global investors are unhappy, Rajay Ambekar, CEO of Naspers shareholder Excelsia Capital, tells The Africa Report.
Naspers has long traded at a hefty discount to the value of its assets, which include a stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent. Under plans announced in May, Naspers’ Dutch-listed spinoff Prosus will buy 45% of Naspers using its shares. The result in effect will be to move part of Naspers’ market capitalisation from Johannesburg to Amsterdam.
The South African company is in a stronger position than most listed companies to ignore dissenting shareholders.