South African communications network operator Neotel has today officially become part of the pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, marking a new era of investment in Neotel’s network and services across South Africa.
Through substantial new capital from Liquid Telecom, which is a subsidiary of Econet Global, a revitalised Neotel will emerge on the South African market with significantly enhanced service offerings for enterprises and consumers.
Over the coming months, Liquid Telecom plans to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel’s network, delivering greater levels of high-speed connectivity to more customers across South Africa.
Liquid Telecom plans to make substantial investment in Neotel’s data centre capabilities, which currently include two Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
For the first time, Neotel’s operations and focus will also become pan-African. Its network in South Africa will link together with Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre footprint to offer access via a single connection to over 40,000km of cross border, national and metro fibre networks. This will give Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach across Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.
“I am delighted to officially welcome Neotel into the Liquid Telecom Group,” says Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom. “Today is an important new chapter for Neotel. The refinancing of the company’s balance sheet will see a revitalised Neotel enter the market with the ability to offer consumers and businesses greater quality services and products delivered through world-class networks.
Liquid Telecom and 30% equity partner Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a community-based South African investment group, have been preparing for the integration of Neotel since receiving regulatory approval for the ZAR 6.55 billion acquisition in December
Liquid Telecom has a strong history of acquiring businesses and transforming them to profitability. Neotel will benefit from Liquid Telecom’s pan-African experience and technology leadership, helping to enhance systems and processes across its operations as well as drive profitability.
The acquisition includes two of Neotel’s Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which offer a combined 1,700 square metres of rack space. The facilities serve major carriers, ISPs, enterprises and international service providers, and will complement the East Africa Data Centre, which Liquid Telecom operates in Nairobi, Kenya.
Liquid Telecom’s growth strategy combines strategic acquisitions across Africa with ongoing investment in the rollout of fibre. It also recently completed the acquisition of Tanzania’s leading ISP Raha, which will see further investment in both Raha’s network and services across Tanzania.