After five years of investing in Metrofibre, the South African Housing and Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF), led by Rali Mampeule, has announced its decision to exit the business.

SAHIF aims to diversify into the emerging market independently, with the expectation of high returns.

SAHIF has raised R700-million for expansion so far this year. As part of its expansion plans, the fund is acquiring a majority stake in one of South Africa’s emerging fibre network operators specialising in prepaid fibre services.

The fibre to the home (FTTH) market in South Africa still has significant potential, with approximately 19-million households yet to be connected to the internet, with the majority located in the emerging markets of townships.

SAHIF has notified its co-shareholders, AIIM of Old Mutual and French DFI STOA, of its intention to sell its entire investment in Metrofibre, valued at over R1,3-billion.

The sale is subject to acceptance of the offer, meeting other conditions, and obtaining possible regulatory approval.

SAHIF initially acquired a stake in Metrofibre in late 2019. Metrofibre Networx, founded in 2010, is a South African fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-business (FTTB) provider.

The company owns and manages South Africa’s first globally-compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 open access fiber network. Apart from providing services to over 60 internet service providers and international telcos, Metrofibre also offers voice and data connectivity products in the enterprise space.

Rali Mampeule, founder and CEO of SAHIF, explains that while Metrofibre is a good business, the decision to sell the stake is driven by the need for Metrofibre to further improve corporatisation to attract institutional investors and remain an infrastructure player in the long term.