Mweb, which is owned by Dimension Data, has been put on the market with Standard Bank running the process. This is according to a well-placed source.
Mweb is one of South Africa’s oldest and best-known Internet service providers which offer a range of products, including fibre, LTE, ADSL, VoIP, and hosting.
The ISP was founded in 1997 and quickly gained traction through its Big Black Box dial-up offering.
Over the years it added new connectivity services, including ADSL in 2003, iBurst and 3G in 2006, and fibre-to-the-home in 2014.
Mweb also shook up the broadband market in South Africa when it launched affordable uncapped ADSL in 2010. This was revolutionary at the time.
By 2019 Mweb had grown its subscriber base to 350,000 users, which made it one of the biggest ISPs in South Africa.
It is uncertain how much Dimension Data wants for Mweb, but Webafrica’s price tag gives some indication of how much it may go for.
When Webafrica was put up for sale in 2019 with the help of Standard Bank, they wanted around R300 million for the ISP.
Webafrica had around 60,000 customers at the time and most industry players valued it at between R170 million and R220 million.
Its biggest asset was its 35,000 fibre customers which was valued at around R5,000 per subscriber by most ISPs.
A deal did not happen, but it does indicate how much large telecoms players are willing to pay for active fibre subscribers.
Mweb sale three years ago
The news that Mweb is up for sale comes three years after Internet Solutions (IS) acquired Mweb through parent company Dimension Data for around R130 million.
At the time IS said the acquisition presents opportunities for growth through Mweb’s customer base and infrastructure.
The sale of Mweb in May 2017 followed the sale of Mweb Business, which included Optinet Services and its Network Divisions, to Dimension Data in 2015.
At the same time, Naspers and Dimension Data entered a joint Wi-Fi business venture called VAST, where Dimension Data owned 51% and Naspers owned 49%.
Since then, many things have changed. VAST was shut down in October 2019 and Internet Solutions was absorbed into Dimension Data last year.
With the new organisational structure at Dimension Data, it is not clear how Mweb fits into the company’s future plans.
MyBroadband asked Mweb and Dimension Data for comment, but they did not respond by the time of publication.