Bob van Dijk, the CEO of Prosus, thinks it’s a good time to buy up new companies. But he also has another business to invest in: his own.
“It’s easier to do acquisitions in a market that is cooling off,” van Dijk told The New York Times in a “Dealbook” interview published this weekend.
“Few investors have a broader view of the global tech landscape than Bob van Dijk,” wrote the Times interviewer, Michael J. de la Merced. “What does he see?”
The Times noted Prosus, the spinoff from Naspers that went public in 2019, “has fared relatively well during the pandemic,” with
six-month results to September showing roughly 30% increases in profits and revenue. It said Asia has “largely bounced back” from the damage it suffered during the early stages of the pandemic, while Latin America and South Africa are still “the hardest-hit markets” where the company operates.
In its classified business, OLX, where new CEO Romain Voog took over last week, van Dijk said the company saw an opportunity for more automation, for example by asking customers to inspect cars for sale personally, and generated good will by reducing fees for classifieds in India. “When things started to come back again, there was a lot of appreciation around that.”
Van Dijk said he expects more regulation of technology companies, which is “a sensible move.” But he is concerned about the digital services taxes that are being considered in Europe, to apply to multinational companies, even though he did not expect it to have a heavy impact on Prosus. “I understand where it comes from … [but] sometimes the regulation is a little blunt.”
It’s a good interview; read more here.