Vodacom in discussions to buy Neotel

Vodacom and Neotel have announced that they have entered into exclusive discussions regarding a potential acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Neotel by Vodacom SA.

Neotel’s strategic equity partner is the Tata Group through VSNL and Tata Africa Holdings.

The finalisation of the transaction is subject to the successful conclusion of commercial negotiations and receiving the requisite regulatory and corporate approvals.

This transaction, if concluded, would stimulate greater competition in the South African fixed telecommunications sector and will accelerate the provision of high speed data links. It would also result in the combined entity being able to offer an expanded product range and, as a consequence, enhanced customer choice.

Speaking about the transaction, Shameel Joosub, Group CEO, Vodacom said, “There are a number of important steps that we still need to complete in order to conclude the transaction. If the deal is implemented, Vodacom intends to put significant investment into the combined entity to provide high-speed fixed connectivity to many more businesses and consumers. By further building on the capabilities within Neotel, we would also aim to develop entirely new services such as fibre to the home and business.  Neotel has access to over 15,000km of fibre-optic cable, including 8,000 km of metro fibre in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.”

“Spectrum is also an important consideration as the combined entity could use this resource more efficiently, and in doing this we can keep pace with South Africa’s rapidly growing demand for mobile data. This transaction is all about providing greater choice and better infrastructure for South Africa’s businesses and consumers,” added Joosub.

Sunil Joshi,  CEO, Neotel said, “We believe this presents an exciting and attractive opportunity for all parties, especially our customers to whom we will be able to offer more meaningful and innovative products and services. This transaction, if concluded, would further enable Neotel to extend its footprint in South Africa and add the mobile capability that our customers require for their business’ growth in a new world of converged communications.

If completed and approved, this transaction will support Government’s ICT priorities to increase investment in the next generation of telecommunications services and facilitate growth in the broader economy.

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