Naspers is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, with a history dating back to 1915. Founded by Jannie Marais as a newspaper publisher, Naspers has since grown into one of the largest media companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over $130 billion as of 2021.
Over the years, Naspers has expanded its interests beyond the media industry and into a diverse range of businesses, including e-commerce, fintech, online classifieds, and gaming. The company has a presence in over 120 countries and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Naspers' success is built on a foundation of innovation, strategic thinking, and a commitment to creating sustainable value for its stakeholders. The company's ability to adapt to changing market conditions and leverage new technologies has enabled it to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving global business landscape.
Despite its global reach and diverse interests, Naspers remains deeply rooted in its South African heritage. The company is a major contributor to the country's economy, and its philanthropic efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of many South Africans.
Looking to the future, Naspers is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and expand its global footprint. With a strong focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and responsible corporate citizenship, the company is poised to shape the future of business and create sustainable value for all its stakeholders.
In 1914, a group of prominent Cape Afrikaners decided at a meeting in Stellenbosch to form a publishing company that would support Afrikaner nationalism in the Union of South Africa. This meeting lead to W. A. Hofmeyr, a well-known Cape lawyer and National Party organizer; founding De Nasionale Pers Beperkt in 1915 as a publisher of newspapers and magazines. The firm's name was commonly shortened to Naspers, the contraction eventually becoming used even by the company itself.
Naspers launched with the support of Jannie Marais, a prominent Stellenbosch farmer, Jan Christiaan Smuts, Louis Botha, and National Party founding president J.B.M. Hertzog. Naspers was strongly supportive of the National Party and began publishing the Afrikaans-language daily De Burger in June 1915, followed by its first magazine, De Huisgenoot in 1916.
In 1917, Naspers bought the weekly Bloemfontein-based Afrikaan newspaper Het Volksblad, the first expansion beyond the Cape Province for the company. In 1925, Die Volksblad started publishing daily. In 1937, it started Die Oosterlig in the Eastern Cape. Also in 1937, Nasionale Pers set up the company Voortrekkerpers in the Transvaal to support the National Party in Transvaal by publishing Die Transvaler. Initially, the Cape National Party tried to control the extremism of the National Party in the Transvaal by appointing Hendrik Verwoerd as the paper's first editor but he would side with Transvaal branch and Nationale Pers gave up editorial control in 1939.
In order to combat the influence of Albert Hertzog in the Transvaal National Party, Nationale Pers introduced a more enlightened Sunday newspaper in 1965 in the province called the Die Beeld in competition with the Dagbreek. By 1970, these two papers, the latter owned by Perskor, merged into a paper called the Rapport managed by both groups. In 1965, Naspers launched its first English-language magazine Fairlady. In 1974, the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld began publishing daily for the Johannesburg market. Naspers entered the South African general and educational book publishing markets in 1918, initially publishing exclusively in Afrikaans. The company expanded to English-language titles in 1919 and Xhosa in 1922.
Naspers spun off its book publishing operations in 1950 into a separate business, Nasionale Boekhandel. In 1963, Naspers recommenced educational publishing operations through its subsidiary Nasou. In 1973, Naspers took back control of Nasionale Boekhandel, before acquiring another publishing house Human & Rousseau in 1977. Naspers continued to develop its book publishing business during the 1980s, forming the Afrikaans-language book club Leserskring in 1979 and the English-language book club Leisure Hour. In 1986, Naspers acquired publisher JL van Schaik.
In 1984, Naspers acquired Drum Publications, publisher of the Sunday newspaper City Press and weekly magazines Drum and True Love & Family, titles focused on a black readership.
In 1986, Naspers formed a partnership with other South African publishing companies and launched the pay-TV service M-Net. M-Net proved successful and, with sister companies MultiChoice and M-Web, steadily expanded its operations both in South Africa and internationally throughout the 1990s.
In 1994, Naspers became publicly listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa. The company also obtained a Level I American Depository Receipt listing on the London Stock Exchange. In 1998, the company formally changed its name to Naspers Limited. Naspers became increasingly focused on digital businesses; launching the South African web portal Media24 and online retailer Kalahari.com in 1998 and the Chinese-focused web portal SportCN in 2000. In May 2001, Naspers purchased 46.5 percent of Chinese internet company Tencent, owner of WeChat, and an array of fintech apps and mobile games, from early investors including PCCW and IDG Capital. The investment has been referred to as one of the most successful venture capital deals of all time. making Naspers the most valuable publicly traded business in Africa by 2017. In 2003, Naspers took full ownership of subscription television business M-Net and its sister companies MultiChoice and M-Web, integrating their extensive operations across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Naspers also launched new publishing ventures in Nigeria and Hungary in 2003.
With the success of the investment in Tencent, Naspers became an investor in a number of consumer internet startups. In January 2007 Naspers purchased a 30% share of Russia's largest internet company VK for $165 million. Naspers had a particular focus on India, investing more than $4 billion from 2014 to 2019, across multiple sectors, including Byju and ibibo. In December 2018, Naspers invested $1 billion into Indian online food ordering and delivery service Swiggy, the largest single investment made, outside of China, into a food tech company.
In 2015, Naspers merged its South African–focused Kalahari.com online retail business with market leader Takealot.com, acquiring a 46% stake in the merged company and creating South Africa's largest online retailer. By 2018, Naspers owned 96% of Takealot.com. In December 2016, Naspers announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell telecommunications company M-Web to Internet Solutions, pending approval by the South African competition authorities.
On 9 May 2017, it was announced that the South African competition authorities approved the proposed sale of M-Web, with 31 May 2017 being the effective commencement date. In March 2018 Naspers sold part of its stake in Tencent, raising some $10 billion to fund other investments. At the time, its initial investment of $32 million in Tencent was valued at over $175 billion. Naspers' video entertainment business was spun off as MultiChoice Group, on 27 February 2019, represented as MCG on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Shares in Multichoice Group were unbundled to Naspers shareholders, with Naspers retaining no stake in the newly listed company.
In 2019 Naspers listed its global internet investment business on Euronext Amsterdam as Prosus, which became Europe's largest consumer Internet company on its market debut. Share values gained over 25 percent on the day of its IPO, with Prosus' market capitalisation exceeding 125 billion pounds . Prosus reported profits of $4.2 billion for its fiscal year ending 31 March 2019.
Naspers Labs, designed in partnership with RLabs and its founder Marlon Parker, launched in 2019 as an economic initiative for unemployed youth in South Africa. In May 2021 Naspers announced a share swap deal with its Dutch-listed subsidiary Prosus in an attempt to reduce the discount between the asset value of the companies and their market capitalisation. The deal, successfully completed in August 2021, reduced Naspers' stake in Prosus to 56.92% and gave Prosus an approximately 49% share in its parent company. Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Naspers wrote off its 27.29% investment, previously valued at US$769 million, in the Russian internet company VK.
Naspers' mission is to harness the power of local markets, leveraging their unique strengths and capabilities, while at the same time leveraging the advantages of a global scale. The company believes that this approach enables them to unlock new growth opportunities and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing business landscape.
To achieve this mission, Naspers is committed to backing new and innovative business models that have the potential to create significant value for its stakeholders. The company's focus is on investing in businesses that offer a unique value proposition and have the potential to disrupt established markets.
Naspers' mission is to support and empower entrepreneurs, startups, and investors looking to scale their businesses in the company's target markets. Naspers believes that it is uniquely positioned to serve as a growth partner, providing the necessary resources and expertise to help its partners achieve their growth objectives.
At the core of Naspers' mission is a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and responsible business practices. The company believes that by fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, it can help its partners stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
Mr. Ervin Tu (Group Chief Investment Officer)
Mr. Eoin Ryan (Head of Investor Relations)
Mr. David Glyndwr Tudor (Group Gen. Counsel & Legal Compliance Officer)
Ms. Aileen O'Toole (Group Chief People Officer)
Ms. Meloy Horn (Chief Bus. Officer)
Mr. Lawrence Charles Illg (Chief Exec. Officer of Prosus Edtech & Food)
Mr. Laurent Le Moal (Chief Exec. Officer of Payments & Fintech)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
MultiChoice: MultiChoice is a leading media and entertainment company in Africa, with operations in over 100 countries. MultiChoice provides subscribers with a range of digital TV, video-on-demand, and streaming services, such as DStv, Showmax, and SuperSport.
MIH Internet: MIH Internet is a leading internet and mobile services provider in Africa and Latin America. It provides subscribers with a range of digital services, such as broadband, VoIP, and mobile services.
PayU: PayU is a global payments provider that enables businesses to accept payments from customers around the world. It provides merchants with a range of payment solutions, such as credit card processing, direct debit, and bank transfers.
Takealot: Takealot is an online retail platform in South Africa, providing customers with a range of products and services, such as groceries, electronics, and apparel.
OLX: OLX is a classifieds platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade goods and services online. It is one of the largest classifieds platforms in the world, with operations in more than 40 countries.
Media24: Media24 is one of the largest media and publishing companies in South Africa, with a range of newspapers, magazines, and digital publications. It also has a range of e-commerce services, such as online shopping and digital content distribution.
- Naspers | Wikipedia
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Mr. Vasileios Sgourdos (CFO, Financial Director & Exec. Director)
Mr. Patrick Kolek B.S. (Group Chief Operating Officer)
Media and Communications