Vox shareholders in R2-billion buyout deal

Vox Telecom SA shareholders including FirstRand Ltd.’s RMB agreed to buy out fellow investor Investec Ltd. as part of a 2 billion rand ($130 million) recapitalization of the South African fiber-network operator.

Metier Private Equity Ltd. and the internet company’s management are also part of the transaction, Vox Chief Executive Officer Jacques du Toit said by phone. The group will then look to accelerate fiber rollout outside of South Africa’s main cities and to the country’s small businesses.

“Based on the current growth rate that Vox is experiencing, the majority of our shareholders decided not to sell the business,” said Du Toit. “Additional investment will be focused on accelerating our growth strategies.”

Investec was part of a group that bought Vox for 452 million rand in 2011, and owns about one third of the company. The Johannesburg-based lender didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vox is among a number of fast-growing companies leading the relatively nascent fiber-to-home market in South Africa, building improved infrastructure and bringing down the cost of high-speed internet. Vox has completed about 40 small acquisitions to build scale in recent years, said Du Toit.

Competitors include Dark Fibre Africa and Vumatel Pty Ltd., both part-owned by billionaire Johann Rupert, and Liquid Telecom.

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Vox shareholders in R2-billion buyout deal