MyBroadband has learned that Investec has gone to market to attract potential buyers for VAST Networks, which is owned by Dimension Data and Naspers.
Two telecoms executives have confirmed they have been approached as potential buyers of VAST, but were unable to provide further details due to non-disclosure agreements which they signed with Investec.
Reliable sources close to VAST Networks’ shareholders have also confirmed they are looking to sell the company.
VAST Networks was established in 2015 as a joint venture between Dimension Data and Naspers, which own 51% and 49% of the company respectively.
The company is an open-access Wi-Fi network infrastructure provider, delivering carrier-grade Wi-Fi in Southern Africa.
Although an open-access Wi-Fi network may not be perceived as valuable, the company’s often-exclusive agreements with malls and businesses are a good asset.
This will be especially valuable when rolling out 5G networks, which require far higher cell density because of the high frequencies used.
Feedback from VAST and Naspers
MyBroadband asked VAST Networks for feedback, but the company said it does not comment on speculation.
“The company continues to focus on its core strategy, under the ownership of Dimension Data and Naspers, consolidating its position as Africa’s largest public Wi-Fi network,” it said.
In response to questions from MyBroadband, Dimension Data said we should consider VAST’s feedback as its official response.
Naspers communications director Anika Ebrahim said “it is our policy to neither acknowledge nor deny our involvement in any merger, acquisition, or divestiture activity, nor to comment on market speculation”.