Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk said Africa’s largest company by market value will consider “structural options” if the value gap with its stake in Tencent Holdings (腾讯) (SEHK: 00700) persists.

Naspers CEO Bob Van Dijk

Naspers holds a 34 percent stake in the Chinese tech giant and Asia’s most valuable company (market cap $472 billion U.S.), valued at about $158 billion U.S., while Naspers itself has a market value of about $112 billion U.S..

The value gap is “too high” and has been accelerating in the past 20 months, Van Dijk said on Tuesday in New York.

The value gap with Tencent has widened in line with capital outflows from South Africa, where Naspers has its primary listing, Van Dijk said. It will be close to “impossible” for Naspers to move its listing from the JSE, which has also been protecting the company from hostile takeovers, he said.

Van Dijk has resisted pressure to sell Naspers’ holding in Tencent, a suggestion that has surfaced over the years.

Naspers plans to accelerate the “path to profitability” of its e-commerce businesses and sees potential for initial public offerings of companies in its portfolio, Van Dijk said. The company could become purely focused on internet businesses, which now make up about 77 percent of revenue, “quite quickly”, he said.

In November, Tencent reported another blistering quarter across all of its major segments – online/mobile gaming, social networks and online advertising. In Q3 of FY2017, total revenue climbed 61 percent y-on-y to 65 billion RMB ($9.8 billion U.S.), with earnings from payment-related and cloud services more than doubling. 

(Original reporting: Fin24).

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