Naspers prepares for Prosus vote


Naspers prepares for Prosus vote

Published Date: 2019-08-12 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Naspers prepares for Prosus vote

Shareholders on the Naspers register this Friday will be allowed to vote on its plan to list Prosus in Amsterdam next month.

Tomorrow is the last day to trade Naspers's 'N' shares to be eligible to vote on the proposed listing of its international assets. The group plans to float Prosus on Euronext Amsterdam on 11 September if shareholders give it the go-ahead at a general meeting on 23 August. Shareholders included on the group's register by this Friday, the Record Date, will be allowed to participate at the general meeting.

The listing is aimed a creating more value for shareholders by reducing the discount Naspers trades at relative to the sum of all its assets and reduce its outsized weighting on the JSE, where it up makes up almost a quarter of the shareholder-weighted SWIX index. It's also expected to attract more international investors to the group and make it easier to raise capital offshore to fund its growth.

Naspers has two classes of shares: the JSE-listed 'N' shares, which have one vote per share, and the unlisted 'A' shares, which carry one thousand votes per share. While the A shares have higher voting rights, they have lower economic rights, earning just a fifth of the dividends per share that N shareholders are entitled to. The voting control structure was put in place to ensure the continued independence of the group.

It plans the same arrangement for Prosus once it lists and says other companies with similar structures include China's Alibaba and JD.Com and Alphabet (Google) and Facebook in the US.

The majority of the A shares are owned by two companies, Keeromstraat 30 Beleggings (Keerom) and Naspers Beleggings (Nasbel), who control about 53% of the voting rights in Naspers. Assuming they vote in favour of the listing, the other 22% that Naspers needs in order for the scheme to pass is in the hands of its other shareholders.

The group's N shares closed 2.4% higher at R3,449.00 on Friday.

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