MultiChoice chief executive Calvo Mawela was compensated with a $2.62 million (R38.8m) package for the year 2021, up from $1.59m a year earlier as he benefited from bonuses and incentives, the group said in its 2021 integrated annual report.

Mawela took home a $646 000 base salary – up from $571 000 a year earlier – his pension was increased to $78 000 from $67 000 in 2020 and his benefits contracted to $181 000 from $227 000 in the previous year.

He was rewarded with $993 000 in short-term and medium-term incentives, up from $726 000 a year with the short term incentive benefit reflecting the bonus paid based on the performance of the relevant financial year.

“During 2017 the MultiChoice South Africa Remco approved a medium-term incentive scheme. The scheme was designed to incentivise the delivery of key business results in the 2018 and 2019 financial years, with payments taking place in the 2020 and 2021 financial years,” said the group in the annual report.

Multichoice said Mawela had moved to a Dubai-based contract during the 2020 financial year. Mawela received $535 000 in long-term incentive (LTI) restricted stock units and $197 000 in LTI value reflecting the value of share appreciation rights scheme (SARs) that was exercised in the 2021 financial year.

MultiChoice said the package of its chief financial officer, Tim Jacobs, grew threefold in the 2021 financial year to R31.026m in the 2021 financial year, up from R10.2m a year earlier. Jacobs, whose package included a R6.2m base salary, received R6.8m in short-term incentives, and R14.8m LTI reflecting the value of the SARs that was exercised in 2021.

“Almost half of Jacob’s total compensation related to the closure of a share incentive scheme that was implemented when MultiChoice Group was still part of Naspers and which is no longer fit for purpose.

“The scheme was wound up and participants were paid out,” said the group. Jacobs had been instrumental in ensuring the company delivered on its cost-saving targets and delivering on key strategic projects, said MultiChoice.

MultiChoice surpassed the landmark 20 million subscribers in the 2021 financial year driven by operational excellence and tight cost control. “We delivered strong financial results despite ongoing currency weakness which had the dual effect of eroding revenue and increasing costs,” Mawela said.

MultiChoice announced plans to increase its investment in BetKing, a leading digital sports entertainment platform focused on the African continent from 20 to 49 percent.

MultiChoice said it would make an additional investment of $282m to secure the stake and fund this investment, along with the accelerated earn-out payment, with R4bn in rand-denominated debt.

Mawela said Africa currently comprised only around 2 percent of the estimated $130bn global sports betting industry and was poised for significant momentum as it begins to play catch-up. “BetKing is particularly well positioned to capture a large share of this growth opportunity – its proprietary technology allows it to operate at scale and speed, while enabling a customised approach for new markets and adjacent segments,” said Mawela.

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