Naspers has announced that it is considering the possibility of an international USD bond offering through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Myriad International Holdings B.V. (“MIH B.V.”).
In a shareholder statement released by the company, Naspers said it would further explore the option to issue the bonds by meeting potential investors on a roadshow.
Proceeds from the offering, if completed, are expected to be used for general corporate purposes and to repay MIH B.V.’s existing notes maturing in July 2017.
In a report released by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Naspers was considered one of the two stocks (alongside luxury retailer Richemont) considered to be “holding up” the JSE.
Naspers, which currently constitutes 17% of the 166-member index, has gained 28% in 2017, primarily because Tencent, of which it owns a third, surged to almost 50% in Hong Kong. In comparison Richemont, the second-largest index member at 8.5%, has climbed 18%.
However the company also faced controversy earlier this week following the much publicised circulation of an open investor letter, calling for the unbundling of Tencent from the rest of Nasper’s shares.
In the letter, director of Swiss-based investment advisory firm AIM&R, Albert Saporta claimed that the value of the Tencent stake relative to Naspers’ market capitalization as grown from 90% to 130% today and was still accelerating.
“Correspondingly, as implied by the market, the value of Naspers’ dozens of other investments and businesses has declined from a value of R34 billion to negative R300 billion.”