Europe's largest consumer tech company, Prosus, has been created by South African media titan Naspers, with a stunning Amsterdam stock debut driven by interest in its stake in China's Tencent, AFP reported on Wednesday, September 11th.
The newly created company has a value that instantly soared to around 123 billion euros ($136 billion) according to the Bloomberg news agency, making the group the largest to trade on the Amsterdam stock exchange after Shell and Unilever.
The subsidiary groups all of Naspers' internet investments outside of its home market, with investors in particular interested in its 32 per cent stake in Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent.
Bob van Dijk, chief executive of Prosus and Naspers, said, “The listing of Prosus is an exciting step forward for the group, giving global technology investors direct access to our unique and attractive portfolio of international consumer internet businesses.”
Prosus shares jumped 29 per cent above their referenced price of 58.70 euros shortly after trading opened, before slowing slightly by midmorning to go up 27 per cent at 74.41 euros in Amsterdam. The group also has a secondary listing in Johannesburg.
Nonetheless, Naspers stated that it had retained a 73 per cent stake in Prosus.
The Cape Town-based conglomerate has since become a huge global multimedia and e-commerce investor with an appetite for emerging markets. It also gambled in investing in Tencent in 2001 when it was still a tech start-up, but the Chinese firm has now morphed into one of the world's largest internet giants.
Founded in 1915 as Die Nasionale Pers (The National Press), Naspers initially published newspapers in Afrikaans, the language spoken by the descendants of Dutch immigrants in South Africa.
Tencent has risen rapidly as China embraced the internet, with the company's fortunes boosted by its WeChat social media platform. WeChat crossed the one-billion users mark last year.
However, with Naspers' move to Amsterdam aimed at narrowing the value gap between Naspers and Tencent. Naspers has become too big for the Johannesburg stock exchange, as described by Jos Versteeg, according to AFP.