South Africa prepares Broadband Infraco for possible sale

Telecoms

The South Africa government has directed state-owned fibre infrastructure provider Broadband Infraco to undertake a valuation exercise in preparation for its possible sale. In a presentation by the Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services to Parliament, the department revealed that talks with Broadband Infraco with a view to the company "preserving its value" in preparation for a broader rationalisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Broadband Infraco is currently reviewing its business and financial plans, Techcentral reported from the department's presentation. It said engagements are taking place between government and the Industrial Development Corp as the 26 percent shareholder in Broadband Infraco to share views on the future of the company.

It's not clear whether the government intends to fully privatise Infraco, sell it to another SOE, or offload it to Telkom, which is partially owned by the state. Infraco had been vying against Telkom to implement the government's South Africa Connect broadband project, but President Jacob Zuma announced earlier this year in his State of the Nation address that Telkom will be the lead agency for the roll-out. The decision placed a big question mark over the future role of Infraco in South Africa's telecoms industry.
Source: Telecompaper 1 July 2015