Prosus is an Amsterdam-based technology investor and internet conglomerate. Prosus’s parent company, Naspers Ltd., is Africa’s largest listed company and a global consumer internet group, and one of the largest technology investors in the world. In 2001, Naspers made an early, successful investment of US$32 million, for a 30.9% stake in Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent before it went public.
As the pandemic rally continues, Prosus decided it’s time to cash in. Today, Prosus said it netted $14.6 billion from its overnight sale of a 2% stake in Tencent making it one of the most lucrative technology bets in history after the pandemic gave a huge boost to the sector.
Prosus NV said Wednesday it had cut its stake in Tencent from 30.9% to 28.9% to increase its financial flexibility to invest in growth ventures, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. In just 20 years, Naspers has turned its $32 million investment to $232 billion.
In a statement, Prosus Chairman Koos Bekker said, “Our belief in Tencent and its management team is steadfast, but we also need to fund continued growth in our core business lines and emerging sectors. Plus create some headroom for acquisitions.”
In 2001 Naspers paid $34 million for a one-third stake in Tencent before it went public. As of 2018, Naspers had approximately a 31 percent stake in Tencent, becoming its largest shareholder. and Africa’s biggest public company. Naspers also owns and has a controlling interest in various businesses, including Prosus, Media24, and Takealot.
The Hong Kong-listed Tencent is the world’s largest videogame company by revenue. Tencent is also the operator of the popular WeChat do-everything app and is now China’s most valuable publicly listed company with a market capitalization equivalent to $775.9 billion.