Econet Global's Liquid Telecom has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in fixed network operator in South Africa, Neotel which is controlled by India-based Tata Communications for R6,55bn (~US $432 million). Liquid Telecom, an independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings, a South African investment group to take the 30% stake in Neotel.
Econet which owns the majority shares in Liquid Telecom is a privately held diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific.
“The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is transformative and will create the largest pan-African broadband network,” Liquid Telecom said in a statement. “Through a single access point, businesses across Africa will be able to access 40 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 follows a lapsed deal between Tata Communications and Vodacom South Africa for the Neotel sale.