Naspers has finally given a name to its new global consumer Internet group, which it intends listing on Euronext Amsterdam in September, with an inward listing on the JSE.
Until now known by the generic “NewCo”, Naspers revealed in its annual results published on Friday that the business will be called Prosus.
Prosus will consist of Naspers’s internet assets outside of South Africa and includes investments in online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, e-retail, travel, education, and social and Internet platforms. It will house the group’s 31.2% stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent, which is by far its most valuable investment.
Prosus will have a secondary, inward listing on the JSE and is expected to be about 75% owned by Naspers with a free float of about 25%, Naspers said.
“As Europe’s largest listed consumer Internet company by asset value, Prosus will give global Internet investors direct access to our unique and attractive portfolio of international internet assets,” Naspers said.
Jobs bloodbath looming at MultiChoice
A jobs bloodbath is looming at pay-television operator MultiChoice, which said on Friday is will enter into a “consultation process” with 2 194 employees in its call centre operation and the walk-in centres as part of the strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model”.
The ICTU trade union has already accused the company of not fully informing it of the plan, something which it claims makes the process “unlawful” under the Labour Relations Act.
MultiChoice South Africa said the “realignment” is in response to the “changing behaviour of its customers, who are increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to walk-in centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company”.
It said it will make new roles available for “multi-skilled employees with the expertise, skills and technological prowess to enhance the customer experience”.
“This has not been an easy decision to make but, in a business driven by advancing technologies, we must continue to drive efficiencies yet be agile enough to adapt to evolving customer needs to ensure that we remain relevant, competitive and sustainable,” said CEO Calvo Mawela in a statement.
“We must act decisively to align to the change in customer behaviour and competition from (over-the-top, or OTT) services (like Netflix) because if we don’t reposition now, we run the risk of being completely misaligned and we put everyone’s jobs at risk.”
ICTU’s Thabang Mothelo told TechCentral the union will “seek urgent engagement” with MultiChoice. “The employer has timed Friday to make the announcement, which shows some cowardice tendencies of not dealing with the consequences of their actions,” the union said in a statement. Mothelo said ICTU will write to MultiChoice management and hopes to get a formal response to its concerns by Monday.
MultiChoice said its self-service digital channels have continued to grow, and now account for 70% of all customer service contacts.
“The company is also in an environment where it will rely more on technology than people, as it faces increased competition from technologically advanced and unregulated OTT platforms,” it said. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media
This article was originally published on TechCentral.