(Ecofin Agency) – The Indian company Tata Communications announced that it entered into exclusive negotiations with the ISP Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwean group Econet Wireless Global, for the sale of its South African subsidiary Neotel. Both parties have agreed to the price of 6.55 billion rand ($ 429 million), Tata Communications announced on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The acquisition of Neotel, Liquid Telecom the lead with South African group Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), which control 30% of the company.
With the acquisition of Neotel, Liquid Telecom wants to expand its fiber optic network across southern and eastern Africa. The company already holds 24 000 km of infrastructure, deployed across 12 countries. Vinod Kumar, the CEO of Tata Communications, “Liquid Telecom is the ideal partner for the next phase of evolution of Neotel. The convergence of technologies and services will be the main driver of growth across the world and this deal will promote inclusion and support the growth aspirations of the African continent. ”
For the acquisition of Neotel, Liquid Telecom was competing with Seacom. The subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global was the best bid. The acquisition is subject to the approval of various telecom market regulatory authorities.