MTN is buying 50% +1 of Afrihost’s shares, and the current Afrihost shareholders are retaining the remaining 50%.
Afrihost said in an e-mail to its customers that the acquisition will give it more muscle to innovate, and offer value to its customers.
“The way you deal with us stays the same. Our management team stays the same. The entire Afrihost team stays the same,” Afrihost CEO Gian Visser said in his e-mail to clients.
“Our passionate focus on service stays the same. Our brand stays the same. We keep working out of our own premises,” he added.
Visser told Afrihost customers that there is basically only one change: “We have a big brother standing by our side, shoulder to shoulder, supporting us in our dream and goal to become the absolute best company in South Africa”.
“I sincerely believe that joining MTN is the best thing we can do for you, our clients and our team. We’re going to do amazing things,” said Visser.
Update: MTN has provided the following statement on the deal.
On 30 May 2014, MTN South Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTN Group Limited signed an agreement with Brendan Armstrong, Angus MacRobert, Peter Meintjes, Greg Payne, Frank Payne and Gian Visser and their family trusts and investment company in terms of which MTN South Africa will subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent acquire a shareholding of 50% plus one share in Afrihost
Afrihost is a leading South African hosting and internet service provider with an established subscriber base in the consumer and small and medium enterprise markets. Afrihost and its subsidiary, Axxess DSL Proprietary Limited (“Axxess”), which has a strong and dynamic management team, have well recognised and reputable brands in the information, communication and technology (“ICT”) industry. Afrihost has won the MyBroadBand ISP of the Year award for the past three years and prior to that Axxess won the award twice.
The Afrihost acquisition will add scale to MTN South Africa’s online ICT service offering which is focused on the consumer and SME market. MTN South Africa expects to leverage off Afrihost’s strong customer service, value proposition and agility, thereby boosting MTN South Africa’s presence in the SME, Corporate/Consumer and Connected Home segments. MTN South Africa will in addition be able to supply Afrihost with products for its existing customer base and vice versa.
The transaction is aligned to the group’s strategy of optimising its operating model.
The agreement is subject to various regulatory approvals.
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