South African Vox Telecom offered for sale [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The private equity owners of telecoms operator Vox Telecom, which provides voice, data and collaboration services in South Africa and Namibia, are looking to sell the company or attract a new investor to help it expand on the continent.
In an interview for Bloomberg, Vox Telecom's CEO Jacques du Toit said: "Given the current activity in the telecoms landscape, we are using this opportunity to explore several options." He added that the company's shareholders are ready to sell their stakes, depending on the price. Thus, he confirmed an earlier report in MyBroadband, a South African forum site, which said that Vox Telecom had invited numerous local and international companies to bid for it. According to MyBroadband, the proposed acquisition would be for 100% of the company.
Toit told Bloomberg that some expressions of interest have been received, but not from South Africa's largest mobile operators MTN Group and Vodacom. Investec Corporate Finance has been hired to advise on the deal with the process set to close on July 21.
Vox Telecom's main shareholders are Investec, Lereko Metier Capital, and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), which took the company private in 2011.
South African mobile operators are looking to consolidate gains in the market and boost enterprise broadband offerings. Last month, MTN agreed to buy a controlling stake, equal to 50% plus one share, in local Internet service provider Afrihost for an undisclosed sum, aiming to boost its presence in the SME, corporate/consumer and connected home segments.
In May, Vodacom agreed to buy 100% of the country's second largest fixed telecommunications operator, Neotel, for ZAR 7bn (USD 653mn).
Also in May, South Africa's biggest fixed-line operator Telkom offered to buy out local information and communication technology group Business Connexion (BCX) for ZAR 2.7bn, targeting expansion into ICT services in a bid to diversify beyond its core business of connectivity.
In addition to the announced deals, it has been speculated that the country's third and fourth biggest mobile carriers Cell C and Telkom Mobile should merge in order to cut costs by consolidating increasing infrastructure expenses.
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