Nashua Mobile subscriber sale gets the go-ahead

The Competition Tribunal has approved a number of “mergers” which will see Vodacom, Altech Autopage, and MTN take over Nashua Mobile’s subscribers.

Nashua Mobile informed subscribers last week that their accounts will be moved to Altech Autopage Cellular (Cell C users), MTN, and Vodacom with effect from 4 November 2014 or soon thereafter.

As published in the latest government gazette, the Tribunal gave notice on 29 September that it had approved, without conditions, the mergers between Nashua Mobile and MTN, Vodacom, and Altech Autopage.

Following the announcement in April that Nashua Mobile would be closing, the group said it would enter into “separate and distinct sale agreements” to dispose of its subscribers.

This included selling clients back to Vodacom and MTN, and offloading Cell C clients – who ultimately went to Altech Autopage.

Autopage, a wholly owned subsidiary of Altron, entered into a sale agreement with Nashua Mobile to purchase its 65,000-strong Cell C subscriber base for approximately R91.5 million.

The approved deal with Autopage also includes “potentially, all or some of the channel partners of Nashua Mobile,” the Tribunal noted.

The sales – or “mergers” as it was listed by the Competition Tribunal – would generate a combined sum of R2.26 billion for Nashua, the proceeds of which will be used to settle liabilities of Nashua Mobile to support the growth strategy of Reunert, according to the group.

In May, Reunert reported an 8% decline in normalised headline earnings per share for the six months ended March 2014, to 237.2 cents, curbed by its Nashua Mobile business.

Revenue for Nashua Mobile decreased by 5%, as a result of continued price deflation in the mobile industry, as well as the impact of the reduced incentives received from the service providers.

The merger approvals can be found in Government Gazette No. 38059.

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Nashua Mobile subscriber sale gets the go-ahead