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Naspers has $1.65bn available for potential acquisitions

The company seeks to expand its Internet business in emerging markets.

Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market value, has more than $1.65 billion available for acquisitions as the media company seeks to expand its Internet business in emerging markets.

“If we want to do significant deals we are able to,” Chief Executive Officer Bob van Dijk (pictured) said by phone today. The company has about $1.2 billion offshore and R5 billion in South Africa, he said.

Naspers has the capacity to raise capital from other sources should it decide to pursue a bigger deal, said van Dijk, who declined to name any potential targets. The Cape Town-based company’s first half operating profit increased 39% on growth in e-commerce and the contribution from Tencent, according to a statement today.

Naspers dominates satellite TV in Africa and has interests in emerging markets around the world, including stakes in Hong Kong-based Tencent and Russian Internet company Mail.ru Group. The company expanded its online ads business earlier this month with a joint venture with Schibsted ASA across four countries, including Brazil and Indonesia.

The company’s earnings may fall in the second half due to higher development spending, van Dijk said. Naspers is considering a sale of Ricardo.ch, Switzerland’s largest online retailer, people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg in September. Van Dijk declined to comment on that deal.

©2014 Bloomberg News

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