Vivendi's Canal+ makes mandatory buyout offer


French media group Vivendi's Canal+ on Monday made a mandatory offer to buy all the shares of South African broadcaster MultiChoice it does not already own, both companies said.
Canal+, the biggest shareholder in MultiChoice, is offering R125 per share in cash, valuing the pending purchase at about R35 billion rand (US$1.9 billion) and the whole company at about R55 billion, according to Reuters calculations.

The offer price represents a premium of 66% to MultiChoice's closing price of 75 rand on February 1, the stock's last trading day before Canal+ delivered its indicative offer.
The deal would create a pan-African broadcasting powerhouse able to put African content to global audiences as well as compete on an international scale.
The French media company has broad reach in French-speaking African nations, MultiChoice has a stronger presence in English-speaking countries, including South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

MultiChoice's board has appointed Standard Bank of South Africa Limited as its advisor on the deal, the companies said.

China central bank to set up US$70 billion tech re-lending programme


China's central bank will set up a 500 billion yuan (US$70 billion) re-lending programme to support the country's science and technology sectors, according to a statement released on Sunday.
The programme will offer loans via 21 banks to small and midsize technology companies at an interest rate of 1.75%. The one-year loans can be extended twice, for up to a year each time, the statement said.
China's policymakers look to boost liquidity and increase confidence in the world's second-biggest economy amid headwinds from a property crisis and frictions with major trading partners.

Eskom spending R67 billion to slash pollution by 70%


South Africa’s state power utility, stung by reports about the health impacts of emissions from burning coal, said it’s spending billions of dollars to reduce them and has an ambitious target to reduce output of one of its most dangerous pollutants.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said it’s committed to a R67-billion (US$3.6 billion) plan to cut emissions and by 2035 aims to reduce its output of particulate matter by 70%.

Last week, the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air said a government proposal to delay the closure of the plants in a bid to bolster energy security could result in the death of tens of thousands of people from respiratory diseases, heart attacks and strokes.

Eskom, which is based in Johannesburg, said it has already shut down one coal-fired plant and a number of units at others.

“Eskom has developed station-specific recovery plans for each station and these include emission-improvement plans which are being implemented and are beginning to show success,” the company said in a response to queries.

SAP in hot water over dodgy deal with Zimbabwe


Multinational software giant SAP is in hot water over allegations that it used code names and set up a shelf company in Botswana to circumvent European Union (EU) sanctions imposed on the Zimbabwean government in the early 2000s.

According to a Sunday Times report, Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS), a Zimbabwean company, is claiming approximately R1 billion from SAP for revenue losses resulting from the software giant terminating their agreements in 2019.

TTCS wrote to the United States Stock Exchange in 2021, accusing SAP of being involved in a scheme to circumvent EU sanctions against it.

“This was a clear effort on the part of SAP to avoid having to comply with the various sanctions and to continue doing business in Zimbabwe despite the sanctions,” said Ernest Zvinavashe, managing executive at TTCS.

“To date, TTCS Global does not have a single Botswana customer. Its sole purpose was to contract with SAP to supply SAP software solutions to Zimbabwean customers, through TTCS.”

AP global public relations head Marcus Winkler told the Sunday Times that the termination of its agreements with TTCS in 2019 was the result of an extensive investigation.

“SAP is currently in litigation with TTCS over SAP’s decision to terminate them. We do not comment on pending litigation,” he added.