Naspers Brings SoftBank-Style Mega-Tech to Europe – Bloomberg Opinion
What happened: On Monday, South African media organization Naspers announced it will list its roughly $133 billion stake in Tencent in Europe. The group will combine its shares in various tech businesses—which also include Indian startup Swiggy and Russian internet giant Mail.ru—to establish a new company in Amsterdam. Existing shareholders will reportedly have access to around 25% of the new Dutch company, with the rest held by Naspers. The new entry could be valued at more than $100 billion, becoming the largest listed internet company in Europe.
Why it’s important: Naspers has outgrown Johannesburg’s stock market, thanks to its sizable stake in Tencent, acquired in 2001. Its Tencent investment is also the largest source of growth by far for the company, while stakes in other companies have yet to turn a profit. In addition, like its peer SoftBank, Naspers’ share in a Chinese internet giant has outpaced its own valuation. That could set limits on its potential to spur startup growth. While the new company could continue to sell off part of its Tencent stake, as it did last March, to reinvest in promising new businesses, it may be difficult to improve on its best and biggest bet so far.