September 21, 2019 Finance and Tech Publication

A $100 billion tech company you’ve never heard of just listed in Europe

Bob van Dijk, chief executive officer of Naspers Ltd.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Europe has lamented its lack of big internet technology companies capable of competing with U.S. and Chinese giants like Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent.

Overnight, the continent’s fortunes changed in the form of a $100 billion consumer internet company that listed publicly Wednesday in Amsterdam.

The company is called Prosus, and it’s a spinoff of South African consumer internet conglomerate Naspers. Prosus said its market capitalization on its first day of trading is roughly $100 billion, making it one of the 10 biggest consumer internet groups in the world.

“The listing of Prosus is an exciting step forwards for the group, giving global technology investors direct access to our unique and attractive portfolio of international consumer internet businesses,” Naspers and Prosus Group CEO Bob van Dijk said in a press release Wednesday.

Prosus is not a consumer internet business itself, meaning it doesn’t offer digital services under its own brand like Facebook or Alibaba, for example. Instead, it invests in a portfolio of global internet firms in sectors ranging from payments and fintech (financial technology) to food delivery.

The group’s best-known investment is a 31% stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent, a gaming titan and owner of the hugely popular messaging app WeChat. Naspers made a $32 million investment in Tencent in 2001, a bet now worth $130 billion.

Under the new structure, Prosus will hold Nasper’s Tencent stake, as well as positions in other firms like Russian social media company Mail.ru Group and German food delivery service Delivery Hero. Naspers will remain a majority owner of the new company.

Europe playing catch-up

The addition of Prosus to the Amsterdam exchange shakes up Europe’s tech landscape, with the company instantly becoming one of the biggest tech entities in the region. According to data compiled by Reuters, it is only outmatched in size by German software firm SAP, which is valued at roughly $135 billion.

Europe has lagged behind the U.S. and China as a home for big tech companies. Of the 20 biggest internet companies by value in 2018, none were headquartered in Europe, according to data from the World Economic Forum. Last month, reports emerged that the EU had drafted a plan for a sovereign wealth fund to invest in “high-potential European companies” that could compete with U.S. and Chinese big tech firms.

“Naspers believes that the choice of Euronext Amsterdam is, and will be, beneficial to the company as Euronext markets are some of the largest, most integrated and proven capital markets in Europe,” the company said in its prospectus.

Naspers first announced its intention to list its international internet assets under a new company name, now Prosus, on the Amsterdam exchange in March. Prosus also has a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Analysts said one reason behind the decision was that Naspers had an outsize weighting on the Johannesburg exchange.

By listing directly on the Amsterdam exchange, the Prosus listing has not received as much attention as a traditional IPO, according to Ken Rumph, an equity research analyst at Jefferies who covers Naspers. As part of the listing, existing Naspers shareholders will be issued new Prosus shares.

“Being listed in Europe, there’s a bigger investment pool, lots of kind of passive money and indexes that you could be part of,” Rumph said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s a sort of tactical argument that this is a more favorable venue.”

Prosus will trade under the ticker symbol “PRX.”

in News
Related Posts

Zuckerberg’s visit to DC tells lawmakers that Facebook is finally taking them seriously

September 21, 2019

September 21, 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes rounds of meeting in Russell Building where he discussed technology regulations and social media issues...

New hires at Amazon PillPack do ’empathy training’ by sorting pills while wearing bulky gloves

September 21, 2019

September 21, 2019

PillPack has an “empathy training” as part of its new hire orientation Christina Farr, CNBC “So the cat is dead,”...

The solar industry has grown exponentially thanks to plain old solar panels

September 21, 2019

September 21, 2019

Elon Musk may have promised the world Tesla solar roof tiles in 2016, but turns out the solar industry may...

Tesla board must face trial over Musk’s mega-pay package, Delaware judge says

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures during a conversation at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, June...

‘Perfectly real’ deepfakes will arrive in 6 months to a year, technology pioneer Hao Li says

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Manipulated images and videos that appear “perfectly real” will be accessible to everyday people in “half-a-year to a year,” deepfake...

YouTube CEO apologizes for ‘frustration and hurt’ over verification changes

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. CNBC YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized on Friday for changes the company announced on Thursday,...

Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps after Cambridge Analytica investigation

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California. Justin Sullivan...

Fitbit soars as it hires Qatalyst to explore sale

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

A Fitbit display is seen at a Target store in Los Angeles. Getty Images Fitbit has hired boutique investment firm...

Fitbit stock jumps as it weighs a potential sale

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

A Fitbit display is seen at a Target store in Los Angeles. Getty Images Fitbit has hired boutique investment firm...

If you buy an iPhone 11, you need to buy this next

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

iPhone 11 Todd Haselton | CNBC Apple‘s new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are arriving...

Facebook still plans to launch digital currency in 2020 despite pushback from regulators

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

David Marcus, head of blockchain with Facebook Inc., speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on...

Employees or contractors? Gig economy’s labor crisis

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law, AB5, that would force more companies to treat more workers as...

Netflix CEO admits there will be ‘tough competition’ as streaming wars heat up with Apple and Disney

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Reed Hastings, chairman, president and CEO of Netflix Inc. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Netflix CEO Reed...

Netflix CEO admits there will be ‘tough competition’ as Apple and Disney join the streaming wars

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Reed Hastings, chairman, president and CEO of Netflix Inc. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Netflix CEO Reed...

Netflix shares fall as analyst predicts slowdown and CEO admits Disney and Apple ‘tough competition’

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

Reed Hastings, chairman, president and CEO of Netflix Inc. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Netflix CEO Reed...