Wananchi Group has finally agreed to sell its corporate and enterprise facing businesses Wananchi Business Services to Synergy Communications (SynCom) after nearly 2 years of internal wrangles by its shareholders including CS Joe Mucheru and founding CEO Njeri Rionge who were opposed to the sell.
The details of the transaction were not made public but speaking on behalf the board, Alex-Handrah Aime, Chairman, Wananchi Group said: “The decision by the board to sell Wananchi Business Services has been guided by a desire to deepen Wananchi Group’s products and services portfolio within the consumer / retail service segment and to provide best-in-class customer experience to all our clients.”
She added; “We believe that the transaction will unlock shareholder value amidst a competitive and dynamic operating environment defined by rapid technological changes.”
SynCom which is owned by the South Africa’s Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund will take over Wananchi Business Services which comprise SimbaNET, Wananchi Telecom and iSAT. Convegrgence Partners has interests in South Africa’s Vodacom, Telekom, Vuma, gemalto, Dimension Data and SEACOM.
After the takeover, SynCom will provide dedicated internet, managed network solutions, data centre, cloud and wholesale carrier solutions via fiber, wireless and satellite networks for its corporate and enterprise market. All services currently offered by Wananchi Business Services will continue without interference.
Speaking on behalf of SynCom, Geoff Hardwick, the Chief Executive Officer of SynCom, said; “The proposed acquisition of the units presents a tremendous opportunity for business growth and investment on the back of a proven and successful business model. The focus on corporate and enterprise customers perfectly fits our goal of providing high quality, enterprise communications services and products across the sub-Saharan region”.
The transaction is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.
Wanachi Group last week announced it was shedding hundreds of jobs in a major overhaul to cut down costs and remain competitive against players such as Jamii Telecom, Safaricom home fibre, Liquid Telecom and SEACOM as well pay TV competition from Multichoice’s DStv and GOtv. The deal will help Wananchi Group to focus on consumer products such as residential internet and cable TV services as well as bolster its original programming.
It’s fine for the firm to let SimbaNet go, its marketing teams had no idea what to do but analysts think Wananchi shouldn’t have sold off its Wananchi Telecom arm to help expand into mobile telephone and fintech services to join Equitel and Jamii Telecom which will soon take 4G to people’s homes and mobile phones in the near future. However, to redeem itself Wananchi Group needed more money and it’s okay for it to shed off a number of employees and focus on what it can deliver.
The next step for Wananchi Group is to buy back itself from the many chaotic shareholders especially the founders and creepy and clueless customer care agents, hire innovative lead generation agencies to help it become innovative, improve decision making and let go of extra management baggage.