MTN announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Verizon Business, part of US based Verizon Communications, to acquire 100% of Verizon South Africa.
Verizon Business corporate entities currently own approximately 70% of Verizon Business South Africa, with the balance held by an entity controlled by Jay & Jayendra (J&J Group), a South African investment company with a broad range of interests in the industrial, technology and mining sectors.
The transaction is in line with MTN’s stated strategy to provide integrated communications solutions in all of its markets and follows similar acquisitions by MTN subsidiaries in Nigeria, Cameroon, Cyprus and Cote d’Ivoire. The transaction also supports MTN’s strong customer focus and commitment to providing greater choice and will help position MTN to offer a broad range of communication offerings beyond its mobile services.
The acquisition of Verizon Business South Africa will bolster the scale and product offering of MTN’s existing South Africa-based ISP, MTN Network Solutions, while strengthening its regional presence. MTN will work closely with Verizon Business to continue to serve global customers with operations in the region and also to identify other opportunities for regional cooperation.
Verizon Business is a leader in the delivery of global Internet Protocol-based enterprise communications and Verizon Business South Africa is an established South Africa headquartered ISP providing full connectivity services to corporate customers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya.
Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN group president and CEO, says: “We are pleased to announce this strategic acquisition, which will enhance MTN’s product offering to meet the diverse requirements of our customers. The acquisition will also provide MTN with access to a significant pool of skilled professionals. Verizon Business South Africa, with its strong track record of providing advanced communications and information technology solutions to enterprise and government customers, is a natural fit to enhance MTN’s existing corporate offerings not only in South Africa but across the region.”
John Doherty, vice-president: strategy and finance at Verizon Business, says: “We continue to refine our local market approach to supporting the needs of multinational corporations worldwide, which we achieve through either wholly-owned network assets and infrastructure or strategic alliances in key markets.
"Effectively, this transaction is about focusing each company’s operations to better serve its core customers’ needs. MTN’s strong focus on the African region will, we believe, provide effective service to customers based locally; we also look forward to continuing to work with MTN to support the local needs of our multinational customers.”
Tim Lowry, MTN SA MD and vice-president: South and East Africa Region, comments: “There are already a number of strong competitors in this sector with demand still on the increase for high quality communication connectivity. We are confident that this acquisition will provide customers across our regional footprint with a better choice of ISP services.”
Closing of the transaction is subject to, inter-alia, regulatory and competition commission clearances.