Liquid Telecom & RBH to acquire SA telco, Neotel for ZAR6.55 billion

Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of the privately held and diversified telecommunications group, Econet Wireless Global, has announced it will be acquiring South African communications network operator, Neotel for ZAR6.55 billion.

It will acquire the telco in agreement with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a South African empowerment investment group, which has committed to take a 30% equity stake in Neotel.

The acquisition is expected to be transformative, creating the largest pan-African broadband network and B2B telecoms provider.

Through a single access point, businesses across Africa will be able to access Liquid Africa’s 24,000km of cross-border, metro and access fibre networks. These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya, with further expansion planned.

The transaction is subject to approval by South African regulatory authorities and is expected to be completed later this financial year.

“We are excited about this transaction. Leveraging the strengths of RBH, Neotel and Liquid Telecom will offer an unprecedented fibre network with a unique set of services and international connectivity for telecom operators and enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa,” said Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom CEO.

He added, “For the first time, African companies will be able to connect with each other in a cost effective and reliable way, all on a single fibre network. We will also be increasing investments into Neotel to cater for rapidly accelerating mobile and enterprise traffic, enabling us to launch exciting new products and services.”

The shareholders of Neotel – Tata Communications of India and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion – consented to the acquisition of the telco.

Speaking on behalf of Nexus, Kennedy Memani said, “…We are confident that customers and employees will benefit from the transaction and from the resulting stability and business expansion.”

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