MultiChoice, a South African company that operates pay TV service, DStv, and a subsidiary of Naspers Media Group, will provide black citizens, currently subscribed to its empowerment schemes, a dividend payout worth R900 million ($88.5 million).
According to MultiChoice’s executive chairman, Nolo Letele, shareholders of Phuthuma Naithi – the empowerment initiatives and owners of 20 percent of the payTV service – will receive R480 million ($47.2 million) in ordinary dividends, and an additional R420 million ($41.3 million) in special dividends.
“With this year’s special dividend, Phuthuma Nathi shareholders have, to date, received R6.88 a share,” he noted.
A payout, slatted for next Wednesday, will see the schemes’ 120,000 shareholders including teachers, cleaners, gardeners and small business owners get paid R2.67 per share before tax. This was approved on the last Phuthuma Nathi annual general meeting.
The empowerment scheme was first launched in 2006 as a Black Economic Empowerment initiative and was subscribed 3 times over. This led to the initiation of a second scheme in 2007, which also ended up being oversubscribed.
The preferential stock offering scheme bought its 20 percent stake in MultiChoice at R50 per share in 2006 and financed this acquisition by offering R10 a share to black citizens, while the remaining R40 was issued at R40 to MIH, a holding company that aggregates all Naspers’s media assets except the print business in Africa.