JOHANNESBURG, June 10 (Reuters) - The incentives of
executive directors in Naspers Ltd will be linked to
the performance of the company and a share exchange programme
with subsidiary Prosus will not alter that, the company
said on Thursday.
Last month, Naspers and Prosus had announced a share
exchange programme under which Prosus, listed on Euronext in
Amsterdam, would issue new shares to buy up to 45.4% of its
parent Naspers' shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
The deal, which analysts have said would lead to a vast
cross holding structure, was done to shrink a steep discount
that Naspers currently trades at to the value of its holding in
Prosus and to the value of its blockbuster investment in China's
Tencent Holdings, which is held 28.9% by Prosus.
However, analysts and shareholders have argued that a vast
cross holding will not help in reducing the steep discount and
could potentially take away the board's incentive to work
towards the interest of Naspers shareholders.
"We continue to be committed to Naspers," Bob van Dijk, CEO
of both the companies, told Reuters.
"Basil (CFO Basil Sgourdos) and I actually have most of our
financial health, our long term financial health, tied up in
Naspers share options. And we promised our shareholders that we
will not exercise those options," he said.
Naspers, Africa's biggest company and a technology behemoth,
holds a 73.2% stake in Prosus, where all of its international
assets spread across e-commerce, food delivery, fin tech,
education technology are housed including Tencent.
In a separate statement, the company said its core headline
earnings per share - the main gauge of corporate profit in South
Africa - for the period that ended March 31 is expected to
increase by between 135 and 181 cents per share.
It will be announcing its full year results on June 21.
(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee
Editing by Alexandra Hudson)