Liquid Telecom talks up possible listing - TechCentral

Liquid Telecom talks up possible listing

Liquid Telecom, a unit of Econet Wireless Global, is considering a sale of shares on a stock market after completing the R6,5bn purchase of Neotel to create the largest broadband network in Africa.

“A possible listing would be very likely,” CEO Nic Rudnick said in an interview in Johannesburg. “At the moment we are focused on the integration of the acquisition and making it a success.”

The bourse and the timing of a potential listing haven’t been decided, the CEO said.

The company, founded and run by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, has arranged the R6,5bn in financing needed to complete the Neotel acquisition from Tata Communications of India and reduce the company’s debt, according to Rudnick.

Liquid Telecom agreed to buy Neotel in June alongside Royal Bafokeng Holdings, a South African empowerment investment group.

The closely held company pounced after Vodacom abandoned its bid to buy Neotel after almost two years of regulatory battles.

The acquisition gives Liquid access to South African businesses and homes and about 40 000km of cross-border fibre networks.

Royal Bafokeng will take a 30% stake in Neotel and help to recapitalise the company. Empowerment firms are typically black owned and seek to take advantage of a South African government initiative to compensate those discriminated against during apartheid.  — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

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