JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s Naspers is considering listing some of its e-commerce ventures in Hong Kong or New York, its chief executive said on Thursday, part of efforts to narrow the discount between its market value and that of its stake in Tencent.
Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Naspers has transformed itself from a newspaper publisher into Africa’s biggest company, a $106 billion behemoth with private equity-style investments in e-commerce platforms such as auction sites, classified and online retail.
Naspers owes its hefty valuation to a 31 percent stake in Tencent, which is worth $154 billion, or roughly 40 percent more than Naspers. The discount has prompted some investors to urge van Dyk to find ways to narrow it.
“We are looking at listing part of our business on other exchanges and Hong Kong is one of our options, U.S. is an option and there are other options as well,” Bob van Dyk told Reuters on the sidelines of BRICS summit.
“We are working through those and we think we will be able to communicate with the market about that in the not too distant future.”
Van Dyk, at the helm since 2014, also said the discount would be closed when the company’s other e-commerce ventures swing into profit.
Naspers said last month the e-commerce division, which excludes Tencent and houses assets such as OLX, the biggest classifieds site in India and Brazil, narrowed its core losses, or losses on the EBITDA level, by 10 percent to $615 million.
($1 = 13.2504 rand)
Writing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by James Macharia