WBS, iBurst in play: sources

Industry speculation is rife that WBS, the parent of iBurst, is for sale and that big companies including Vodacom, MTN, and Dimension Data are interested.

One industry source close to the development said that Dimension Data has already offered R250 million for WBS, but that offer was rejected.

It is understood that the WBS shareholders are looking at a selling price of around R500 million.

WBS has a few valuable assets in the telecommunications market, including spectrum, an established wireless network with high sites, and an extensive microwave backhaul network.

iBurst’s 1,800MHz spectrum is particularly valuable to mobile operators such as MTN and Vodacom who can use this spectrum to roll out an LTE network.

Vodacom said that it explores investment opportunities on a regular basis, but can’t comment on any specific companies.

Eben Albertyn, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA, said that “in line with internal corporate governance, as well as JSE requirements, MTN does not comment on market speculation”.

Dimension Data could also not comment, saying that it does not comment on rumours or speculation.

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WBS, iBurst in play: sources