Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest company, will sell about 17.1 million ordinary shares as it seeks to raise as much as $2.5 billion to fund its investment in Russian classifieds business Avito and further deals.

“The capital raising will finance the Avito acquisition as well as provide us with the financial flexibility to continue to deliver on our strategy of investing in high-growth internet and e-commerce companies to continue to drive returns for our shareholders," Chief Executive Officer Bob van Dijk said in the statement on Thursday.

Cape Town-based Naspers increased its stake in Avito to 67.9 percent from 17.4 percent in a $1.2 billion deal. The transaction, which should close by year-end, has been approved by the South African Reserve Bank and the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Naspers named Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Morgan Stanley & Co. as bookrunners for the offering, which will start with immediate effect. The price will be determined through an accelerated bookbuilding process, the company said.

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