Vodacom has announced that it will no longer buy Neotel, due to regulatory complexities and certain conditions not being fulfilled.
The cancellation of the deal comes after the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Vodacom would not be able to take control of licences owned by Neotel as part of the companies’ planned R7-billion merger.
Before the ruling, the two companies had announced a modified deal that would see Vodacom acquire all Neotel’s assets – but not its licences.
“Shareholders are advised that Vodacom South Africa will continue to invest in the development of its own high-speed communication infrastructure to stimulate greater competition in the fixed telecommunications sector and support both its business services offerings and its consumer business,” said Vodacom.
Vodacom CEO disappointed
“It is disappointing that we have reached this conclusion despite all our efforts to find a way to deal with the complexities of the restructured transaction,” said Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
“Our ambition to increase the roll-out of fibre-based broadband services to customers remains. We will continue to look for spectrum opportunities, as well as opportunities to accelerate our fixed-line business.”