Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Econet moves to create the largest pan-African broadband network

By News Express on 29/06/2016

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,355

Months after Vodacom gave up on a long-drawn out takeover of Neotel, Econet, through subsidiary Liquid Telecom, has swooped in to acquire the company, giving it access to valuable spectrum without it having to overcome the regulatory problems Vodacom faced.

In a 70%-30% tie-up, Liquid is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which said it wanted to diversify its portfolio.

The combination of Liquid and Neotel would create the largest pan-African broadband network, spanning about 40,000km of fibre networks in 12 countries, from SA to Kenya, the companies said.

They plan to “rehabilitate” struggling Neotel, which has been battling to gain traction almost 10 years after it entered the highly competitive market.

Liquid and the Royal Bafokeng would aim to improve network access and performance to cater for rapidly accelerating mobile and enterprise data traffic. Neotel’s neglected consumer business is expected to get a boost.

Econet was founded by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa.

Liquid Telecom has network infrastructure and services licences in SA, and it holds similar licenses in other countries.

The deal has to be approved by regulators, but Liquid Telecoms said it did not anticipate major hurdles as its operations in SA were “very limited in size”.

That made for fewer competition issues than those arising from the failed Vodacom deal.

In March, Vodacom called off its R7bn bid for Neotel after two years of discussions because of regulatory scrutiny over its intentions regarding Neotel’s spectrum. Competitors Cell C and MTN had also objected to the takeover.

Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick said the facilities offered through the tie-up would allow African companies to connect with each other in a “cost effective and reliable way, all on a single fibre network”.

Liquid Telecom planned to file for an initial public offering in a European country in 2016, it said, without revealing on which stock exchange.

For Neotel’s owners, the Tata Group, the transaction would help its push to sell assets.

Chairman Cyrus Mistry seeks to pare debt and boost profit.

Neotel’s debt is estimated at R5.1bn. In an interview with CNBC in Delhi, Tata Communications chief financial officer Pratibha Advani said part of its decision to sell Neotel was that it was not part of its core business, and it wanted to focus on its data services business.

Albertinah Kekana, Royal Bafokeng Holdings CEO, said the transaction was part of its diversification strategy and its objective to invest in high-growth sectors.

This is the second investment in the telecoms sector by Royal Bafokeng. It already owns a 2% stake in Vodacom SA.

Asked if Royal Bafokeng would consider bidding for part of the Public Investment Corporation stake in Vodacom if and when it became available to black investors, Kekana said that the investment company was “continuously reviewing its portfolio and seeking new opportunities, as part of a long-term diversification process.”

BusinessDay South Africa/ Bloomberg. Photo shows Econet Founder Strive Masiyiwa.

Source News Express

Posted 29/06/2016 3:04:38 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
Army rolls out Cyber Warfare Command, launches app...

It will be another sunny day up North,...

Biafra: Buhari pushing Igbo to secede –Ezeife

Dickson stops borrowing to pay salaries, tells Bayelsans...

Man dies after rescuing 13 people in boat...

Mutiny: Lawyers, Judge-Advocate clash at Army Court Martial...

2015:INEC rejects Folarin as PDP gov candidate

N21bn Fraud: More trouble for Ex-Air Chief Amosu...

Iran open to Americans – Foreign Minister

Varsity League: COLMASS lifts MOUAU trophy as VC...

Rights group declares Governor El-Rufai ‘a major threat...

Banditry: NAF sustains bombardment of Zamfara forests


Latest News THE BIG TRIAL: The 11 charges slammed on Ex-Governor Fayose by EFCC Delta indigene appointed Judge in USA •Appointment well deserved, says Okowa Oshiomhole cries out over gang-up in APC 22 suspects arrested over Kaduna violence FG has not been fair to South East — Ikpeazu Major shake-up hits Civil Defence Good Governance group tasks Northern leaders on Nigeria’s next President Two brothers arraigned for allegedly killing cousin in Anambra 83m to vote in 2019 — INEC chair How I will fix electricity problem in 36 months if elected President — SDP Candidate Donald Duke Atiku to supporters: Conduct yourselves respectfully Nigeria to host 90% of world’s extremely poor by 2030: World Bank


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (408,827 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (383,482 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (315,915 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (259,022 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (238,360 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (224,946 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (204,801 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (186,210 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (171,074 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (166,335 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (162,006 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (149,702 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (70) Business & Economy (3,702) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (949) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (561) Features (660) Global Business Monitor (304) International (2,562) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (145) News (39,822) Opinion (1,126) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,340) Religion (885) Sports (1,739) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


NLNG Prize for Literature 2018

Zenith Zero Balance

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner





LIBYA vs NIGERIA 2-3 Goals Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera