Telecommunications and ICT specialist Vox has secured new debt facilities, lead-arranged by Investec and also involving Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank, to allow it to ramp up its deployment of fibre broadband infrastructure in South Africa.
The funding – the quantum of which has not been disclosed – will be used by Vox subsidiary Frogfoot to connect more homes and businesses to high-speed fibre networks.
“The fibre telecoms game is competitive and the right funding partner for growth is paramount,” said Vox CEO Jacques du Toit in a statement on Monday.
“This additional capex allows us to continue to provide communities with fast and reliable fibre to both homes and businesses as demand continues to grow,” he added.
Du Toit said Frogfoot is significantly expanding its footprint to smaller towns across the country, underpinned by a focus on providing high-speed national long-distance services. It is doing about 4 000 installations a month.
Investec is the mandated lead arranger for the debt financing, and it brought in Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank as fellow lenders.
Beyond the suburbs
Investec specialised finance consultant Laverne Chetty said fibre operators like Vox and Frogfoot are expanding beyond the upmarket suburbs in the cities and into outlying regions where both homes and businesses still need to be connected.
“With the additional funding we have provided, Vox has the capability to implement the next stage of its growth strategy, which includes taking fibre to those areas eager to benefit from high-speed Internet access,” Chetty said.
Paul Botha, from Vox shareholder Metier Private Equity, who is also the chairman of the Vox board, said: “Fibre to the home is now at a crucial point in its growth cycle in South Africa, where investment in infrastructure is needed to meet the rising demand for high-speed, reliable broadband. It’s important, therefore, for equity and debt funders to work together to provide the right capital mix to fund this growth.” — © 2021 NewsCentral Media