Liquid Telecom-Neotel deal gets ICASA approval

Liquid Telecom has received regulatory approval for its R6.55-billion acquisition of Neotel, the company announced.

“Liquid Telecom has received unconditional approval from ICASA. This follows approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission during October 2016,” it said.

Liquid Telecom’s partner, investment group Royal Bafokeng Holdings, will own a 30% stake in Neotel.

Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said they are delighted by the approval.

“The combined companies will create an unparalleled footprint covering key markets across the continent,” he said.

Neotel’s Director in Charge Kennedy Memani said the approval will enable Neotel to reach its full potential in South Africa.

“Liquid Telecom will invest in Neotel’s products and services in order to support the rising demand for network services in South Africa and other African countries,” said Liquid Telecom.

Liquid Telecom originally entered into an agreement to acquire Neotel in June.

The shareholders of Neotel – Tata Communications of India and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion – agreed for Liquid Telecom to buy Neotel for R6.55 billion.

“The transaction is transformative and will create the largest pan-African broadband network,” said Liquid Telecom at the time.

“Through a single access point, businesses across Africa will be able to access 40,000km of cross-border, metro, and access fibre networks.”

These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya, with further expansion planned.

Now read: How Neotel shook up the South African telecoms market

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Liquid Telecom-Neotel deal gets ICASA approval