Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Liquid Telecom Acquires of South Africa's Neotel

Liquid Telecom, a unit of South Africa–based Econet Global has announced that it has completed the acquisition of South African network operator Neotel for approximately ZAR 6.55 billion (approximately $491 million), further expanding its position as a pan-African telecoms company.

Liquid Telecom acquired Neotel from India's Tata Communications and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion. Liquid Telecom joined with 30% equity partner Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a community-based South African investment group, for the acquisition, which received regulatory approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in December 2016. South Africa's Competition Commission approved the deal in October.

Established in 2006, Neotel has invested an estimated ZAR 7 billion in its network, deploying national backbone fibre connecting the top 40 cities and towns in South Africa and to over 5,000 businesses. Neotel operates a major, MEF-certified Ethernet network, while Liquid Telecom is a leading provider of Carrier Ethernet services with MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) services certification.

Neotel also operates redundant backhaul fibre to landing stations with access to all five of the international subsea cables serving South Africa - SAT-3, SAFE, SEACOM, EASSy and WACS. It was noted that Liquid Telecom owns significant international subsea capacity, and is currently building a subsea cable linking the east coast of Africa, Liquid Sea.

Over the coming months, Liquid Telecom stated that it plans to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel's network to enable improved high-speed connectivity and deliver services to more customers across South Africa. Liquid Telecom also plans to invest in Neotel's data centre capabilities, which include two Tier 3 facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town, adding to its existingEast Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

In addition, the Neotel operation will be integrated with Liquid Telecom's pan-African network and extensive fibre footprint to provide access to over 40,000 km of cross border, national and metro fibre infrastructure serving 12 countries, giving Liquid Telecom enhanced reach across Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.

Earlier in February, Liquid Telecom announced the completion of its acquisition of Tanzania’s leading ISP Raha. Liquid Telecom noted the acquisition enhanced its East Africa Fibre Ring, which connects Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, with direct connectivity to international subsea cables. Raha operates a 400 km metro network serving the central business district of Dar es Salaam and other areas of the Tanzanian capital, and has a data centre in the city. Raha provides over 1,500 businesses, plus a growing base of retail customers, with a range of connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and WiFi.

https://www.liquidtelecom.com/news-events/news/1017-neotel-officially-becomes-part-of-the-pan-african-liquid-telecom-group.html

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