• About 18.2 million shares were placed at 1,975 rand each
  • Funds to be used for e-commerce acquisitions such as Avito

Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest company, raised $2.5 billion from institutional investors to help fund its investments into e-commerce companies, including into the Russian classifieds business Avito.

A total of 18.2 million shares were placed at 1,975 rand ($137) each in a bookbuild that Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley ran, Cape Town-based Naspers, which has operations in more than 130 countries and has historically targeted emerging markets including China, India and Russia, said in a statement Friday. The new stock, which is expected to start trading on Dec. 11, represents about 4.3 percent of the company’s ordinary shares before the capital raising.

In October, Naspers said it would increase its stake in Avito, Russia’s largest classifieds site, to 67.9 percent from 17.4 percent. It has since received approval from both South African and Russian authorities for the acquisition, which it expects will be concluded before the end of 2015.

Naspers has expanded through buying start-up companies in emerging markets and owns DSTV, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest pay-TV service. Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk last month said most of its investments would go into different e-commerce models.

The stock fell 0.8 percent to 2,070 rand by the close in Johannesburg Thursday, paring the gain this year to 37 percent and giving the company a market value of 870 billion rand.

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