Cellular provider Vodacom and fixed-line operator Neotel have announced that the two companies have entered into negotiations which could result in Vodacom acquiring 100% of shares in Neotel. The talks are not final and the buyout depends on “successful conclusion of commercial negotiations” as well as regulatory and commercial approval.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said in a statement “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 8,000km 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.”
Neotel CEO Sunil Joshi 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.”