It’s Maziv. That’s the new name of the parent company of Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa that will soon, pending regulatory approvals, be 30% owned by Vodacom.
The entity, until now known as Infraco, will be led by CEO Dietlof Mare. The Vumatel and DFA brands will remain in the market, with the two companies, both led by Mare, becoming much more integrated.
The name, Mare said in an interview with TechCentral on Friday, is taken from the Greek word mazi, which means “together”.
In a statement, Mare said: “While Vumatel and DFA continue to operate as separate entities, the intentional formation of this parent company was a strategic move to streamline operations and consolidate infrastructure assets seamlessly, under one aligned strategy.”
The two companies, now under the Maziv umbrella, have formidable fibre assets: Vumatel passes about 1.6 million homes (it doesn’t publish the connection rate), while DFA has 13 800km of fibre deployed.
Through its Vuma Reach and Vuma Key initiatives, Vumatel plans to double down on its deployment of low-cost, prepaid, uncapped fibre in areas where fibre hasn’t historically been deployed, Mare said.
The announcement of the new brand comes as CIVH, the Remgro- and New GX Capital-controlled parent of Infraco (now Maziv) and Vodacom await approval by regulators, including the Competition Commission, of their plan to merge their assets.
Vodacom will acquire 30% — with an option of up to 40% — of Maziv, while providing assets to the new entity worth R4.2-billion. Vodacom will also invest at least R6-billion in cash into the venture, which will be used to ramp up its infrastructure investments, including taking fibre to underserved areas.
As a result of the proposed transaction, Remgro’s indirect interest in DFA and Vumatel will be diluted, though Remgro will obtain an indirect interest in the assets contributed by Vodacom. Vodacom has agreed that the home and business fibre assets that it contributes will be made available on an open-access basis, meaning Internet service providers other than Vodacom will be able to sell access on that infrastructure.
CIVH chairman Pieter Uys told TechCentral on Friday that he expects the Vodacom transaction to close in the first quarter of 2023. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media