Naspers & Tencent story is the story of an apartheid sympathizer, $1Tn+ & the births of one of the world’s largest: video game + production + social media + food delivery companies.
Caution: Highly truncated, please feel free to read up more later.
Naspers was established in 1915 as an Afrikaans Nationalist newspaper (erstwhile De Nasionale Pers Beperktriticized) criticized for supporting apartheid.
In 2001, Koos Bekker (then CEO), dejected from the massive losses suffered in the dot-com crash that wiped off over $100M was ready to leave Beijing.
Invests against counsel’s advice in Tencent whose chat product is called QQ (name changed from OICQ after a lawsuit by AOL).
46.5% for $32M
Tencent grows and starts monetizing on virtual goods.
Launches social media app, Weixin & starts building games after seeing the success of South Korean gaming companies.
Rebrands to ‘WeChat’ & also begins venture investing.
2015, the stake in Tencent becomes more valuable than the entire company.
2018, Tencent sells 2% for $10Bn &
lists all non-African assets (including Tencent) in Euronext as ‘Prosus’.
2020, Tencent holds a market cap of ~$700Bn.
Prosus still holds > 30% valued at ~$200Bn.
Prosus is surprisingly being traded at $176Bn!
An arbitrage or do public markets & private markets see things differently?