Actis has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in fibre-to-the-home operator Octotel at an enterprise value of R2.3 billion.
At the same time, Actis signed an agreement to acquire a non-controlling interest in Internet Service Provider (ISP) RSAWEB.
Octotel, which owns an open-access fibre network in the Western Cape which currently passes more than 175,000 premises, was founded in 2016 by Rob Gilmour and Mark Slingsby.
Through this network, Octotel provides line rental services to ISP on a vendor-neutral basis allowing high-speed data connectivity in homes and businesses across the region.
Following the transactions, Gilmour and Slingsby will remain as shareholders and the businesses will continue to be run by the existing management teams.
Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited and the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund will fully exit their respective positions in the two entities.
“Octotel and RSAWEB are the latest Actis investments into the high growth Digital Infrastructure sector,” said Actis partner David Cooke.
“We have a growing portfolio of data centre investments and are delighted to now be making our first investment in the fibre sector.”
He said this investment opportunity is driven by the demand for reliable, high quality, high-speed digital access in the home.
Actis noted that the Octotel and RSAWEB transactions are subject to regulatory approval.
Caxton explains its exit
Caxton said in a SENS announcement that it will dispose of its shares and claims on loan account in Octotel and RSAWeb for R493 million.
The effective date of the disposal is expected to be 15 December 2020.
Caxton said its initial investment in RSAWeb in 2013 was primarily intended to strengthen its relationship with its network provider, and to provide the ISP with access to capital for expansion.
In 2016, Caxton further invested in Octotel and provided it with capital to enable it to become one of the largest fibre-to-the-home operators in the Western Cape.
“Both businesses have grown beyond expectations and, on receiving an offer from Actis the company agreed to support the sale of these businesses,” it said.