There is no doubt that Bob van Dijk, the CEO of Prosus, wants to make a big acquisition. The Dutch arm of South African internet titan Naspers has nearly R70 billion in cash that can be used to snap a big ecommerce player or a FinTech player.
Last year Prosus, which is 73% owned by Naspers, failed to buy Just Eat for R98 billion. Just Eat was acquired by rival Takeaway.com. The company also was unable to purchase eBay’s classified lucrative asset that was snapped up by Norwegian firm Adevinta paying R140 billion or $9.2 billion at the time.
Prosus is a strategic global investor and operator focused on creating long-term value by building and scaling consumer internet businesses through organic growth and strategic mergers & acquisitions (M&A). It aims to build strong companies that make value by addressing significant societal needs in high-growth markets with long-term potential.
Its businesses and investments serve more than 1.5 billion people in 89 markets and are amongst the leading players in 77 of those markets. The group directly employs more than 20,000 people globally, with many more employed by its associates.
The company ended the year with $4.3 billion (or R65 billion) in cash and is eyeing merges and acquisitions opportunities.
“We ended the period with a strong and liquid balance sheet,” Prosus informed investors on Monday.
“We had a net cash position of S$4.3billion (R65 billion), comprising $9.95 billion (R151 billion) in cash and cash equivalents (including short-term cash investments), net of $5.7 billion (R87 billion) in interest-bearing debt (excluding capitalised lease liabilities).
“We hold an undrawn $2.5 billion (R38 billion) revolving credit facility.”
The internet company said overall; it recorded net interest expense of $49 million (R750 million) for the period.
In July 2020, Prosus successfully raised more than $2 billion (R30 billion) in debt, comprising its longest-dated US dollar offering to date and its debut euro notes offering. The offerings drew strong investor demand, resulting in attractive pricing that reduced the group’s average funding cost while extending the blended maturity profile of its outstanding notes to almost 12 years.
“The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including future M&A activity, and to further augment the company’s liquidity.”
As Europe’s largest listed consumer internet company by asset value, Prosus gives global internet investors direct access to Naspers’s portfolio of international internet assets through exposure to China, India and other high-growth markets, as well as to the global tech sector. At the time of the listing, around $16 billion of value was unlocked for Naspers’s shareholders by reducing the discount to the combined net asset value of Pro