Tata Communications to sell South African arm Neotel for Rs. 2,904 cr


New Delhi: Tata Communications on June 28 said Liquid Telecom, a privately-owned, pan-Africa telecom group, majority owned by Econet Wireless Global, has entered into an agreement to acquire its subsidiary Neotel for South African Rand 6.55 billion (Rs 2,904 crore). "The shareholders of Neotel Tata Communications of India and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion have agreed for Liquid Telecom to acquire Neotel for ZAR6.55 billion," said a press statement.

Liquid Telecom is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a South African empowerment investment group, which has committed to take a 30 per cent equity stake in Neotel. The deal will create the largest pan-African broadband network and B2B telecoms provider. Through a single access point, businesses across Africa will be able to access Liquid Africa’s 24,000km of cross-border, metro and access fibre networks. These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya, with further expansion planned.

For Tata Comm, the deal will help it reduce its debt. Commenting on the transaction, Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom CEO, said, “For the first time, African companies will be able to connect with each other in a cost-effective and reliable way, all on a single fibre network. We will also be increasing investments into Neotel to cater for rapidly accelerating mobile and enterprise traffic, enabling us to launch exciting new products and services.”