Africa: Naspers Is Not Running Away From South Africa


Such is the level of cynicism in South Africa currently that any company taking its wares to the international markets is viewed with suspicion. Some people wonder whether Naspers' motives for its listing in Amsterdam isn't motivated more by greed than anything else.

There is a perception among ordinary South Africans that the unbundling of Naspers' international assets and subsequent listing on Amsterdam's Euronext bourse is simply an elaborate ruse to offshore assets. Such is the level of cynicism and distrust in South Africa.

Those who inherently distrust business question Naspers' motives. Is the company semigrating they wonder? After all, the likes of South African Breweries, BHP Billiton and others achieved this back in the late 1990s.

Those whose faith in business leadership has been shaken wonder whether the directors and other Naspers insiders haven't used this as a vehicle with which to offshore a portion of their capital. After all, 6.5% of the company's ordinary N-shares are owned by directors and other ordinary South Africans. That is almost R1-billion worth of shares, a pretty penny by anyone's accounting.

The reality is that yes, Naspers is offshoring some of its assets and yes, individual shareholders will be able to sell...

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