Vodacom-Neotel deal gets more requirements

Icasa has unveiled more requirements in the Vodacom-Neotel acquisition deal, Bloomberg reported.

In June 2015 Icasa approved the R7-billion deal between Vodacom and Neotel, adding that the takeover will be subject to compliance with a local ownership law and the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and services.

The regulator has now published the requirements related to the deal:

  • BEE requirement: Vodacom and Neotel are required to comply with the requirement that 30% of the equity ownership of the individual licence be held by persons from historically disadvantaged groups.
  • Broadband roll-out: Icasa is considering imposing a condition that at least 25% of any broadband roll-out by Neotel following the deal be undertaken in under-serviced areas.

Icasa explained that it recognises it may not be practicable for Vodacom and Neotel to comply with the BEE Requirement from the onset.

“Therefore the Authority wishes to determine the reasonable period within which the Applicants should be permitted to ensure compliance with the BEE Requirement,” said Icasa.

This news follows the Competition Commission recommendation to the Competition Tribunal that the merger between Vodacom and Neotel be approved, with conditions.

The Competition Commission has its own conditions for the deal, which included a limitation on the use of Neotel’s spectrum by Vodacom.

The Competition Commission recommended that Vodacom shall not directly or indirectly use Neotel’s spectrum for a period of two years from the approval date.

It also requires Vodacom to commit to a R10-billion investment in fixed network, data, and connectivity infrastructure.

It also has a BEE requirement, where Vodacom must, within a period of 24 months following the approval date, ensure that the value of shares in its share capital held by black economic empowerment shareholders in Neotel increase by an amount of R1.4 billion.

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Vodacom-Neotel deal gets more requirements