Africa’s biggest company Naspers Ltd made $1.6 billion profit from the sale of its 11 percent stake in Flipkart – an Indian e-commerce startup – to Walmart. The deal will benefit the media and technology company, which has been sourcing for investments that will help assure its stakeholders.
“With this sale our return on cost of capital was almost three times – it’s been one of our better investments,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk told Bloomberg on Wednesday.
Naspers retains several other Indian businesses, including online classifieds business OLX, food-delivery firm Swiggy and travel business MakeMyTrip, and remains heavily committed to the country, Van Dijk added.
Naspers has a history of making lucrative deals. In 2016, the company netted $3.253 billion from the sale of Poland-based online auction site Allegro which Naspers originally acquired for $1.5bn (as part of the deal to acquire the online auction company Tradus, which operated in Central and Eastern Europe) in an attempt to establish other fast-growing businesses in Poland, such as the e-commerce site OLX and the payment platform PayU.
One of the Cape Town-based company’s major milestones was its purchase of a $32 million stake in the Chinese media and internet company Tencent 17 years ago. The $32 million worth stake is now worth almost $150 billion, Bloomberg noted. This follows Naspers sale of part of its Tencent stake for almost $10 billion six weeks ago.
What you need to know about Naspers
Naspers was founded in 1915 by Jan “Jannie” Marais of Coetsenburg and W.A. Hofmeyr with the support of Jan Christiaan Smuts, Louis Botha and J.B.M. Hertzog. It is a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, offering services in more than 130 countries. Its principal operations are in internet communication, entertainment, gaming and e-commerce.
The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and has been designated to be part of the Top 10 index over the past number of years. Nasper also has a Level I American Depository Receipt programme (ADR programme), listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and trade on an over-the-counter (OTC) basis. International investors account for around 50% of its shareholder base.
Nasper Ltd. is the most valuable publicly traded business in Africa (August 2017) with a market capitalization of $93 billion. A unit of international media group Naspers, namely its subsidiary Myriad International Holdings owns a 28.7% stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Russian firm behind investments in notable Internet companies like Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga.
In March 2014, Souq.com raised $75 million from Naspers. Over two rounds in May and September 2017, Naspers invested 1.05 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in Germany’s Delivery Hero AG, and has been involved in 14 deals worth $1.94 billion in 2017 alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.