South African communications network operator Neotel has today officially become part of the pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom. This comes just a month after Liquid Telecom received approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) for the acquisition.
The ZAR 6.55 billion acquisition marks a new era of investment in Neotel’s network and services across South Africa. Through substantial new capital from Liquid Telecom, a revitalized Neotel will emerge on the South African market with significantly enhanced service offerings for enterprises and consumers.
Over the coming months, Liquid Telecom plans to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel’s network, delivering greater levels of high-speed connectivity to more customers across South Africa.
Liquid Telecom also plans to make a substantial investment in Neotel’s data center capabilities, which currently include two Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
For the first time, Neotel’s operations and focus will also become pan-African. Its network in South Africa will link together with Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre footprint to offer access via a single connection to over 40,000km of cross-border, national and metro fibre networks. This will give Liquid Telecom unrivaled reach across Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.
“I am delighted to officially welcome Neotel into the Liquid Telecom Group,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom. “Today is an important new chapter for Neotel. The refinancing of the company’s balance sheet will see a revitalized Neotel enter the market with the ability to offer consumers and businesses greater quality services and products delivered through world-class networks. As Liquid Telecom continues to grow, we are committed to maintaining our entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging innovation and delivering on our vision of a more connected Africa.”
Liquid Telecom and 30% equity partner Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a community-based South African investment group, have been preparing for the integration of Neotel since receiving regulatory approval in December 2016.
The acquisition also includes two of Neotel’s Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which offer a combined 1,700 square meters of rack space. The facilities serve major carriers, ISPs, enterprises, and international service providers, and will complement the East Africa Data Centre, which Liquid Telecom operates in Nairobi, Kenya.