On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Libyan investment company LAP Green has signed a USD300 million loan agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to allow it to fund capital expenditure in its telecoms investments in Uganda, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Niger and Togo. The USD300 million is part of the USD10 billion that China has pledged to lend Africa in low interest loans.

- Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr Christopher Anyanwu, has assured that the renewed sale of moribund Nitel to a new core investor would be concluded by January next year.

- London and JSE-listed Dimension Data Holdings plc has announced its results for the year to end-September 2009. Given the extremely challenging economic conditions that prevailed over the period the Group did well to report flat revenues overall in constant currency. Strong growth of 13.0% in services revenues drove an improvement in the gross margin and this, when combined with tight cost management, resulted in operating profit growth of 25.4%. The Group operating margin grew to 4.9%, an excellent increase on FY2008’s 4.0% operating margin. A further highlight of the results is good working capital management and strong cash generation, which resulted in a closing cash balance of $600 million.

- Egypt-based group Orascom Telecom has revealed that revenue for the three months ended 30 September 2009 remained flat compared to the previous quarter’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 9M 2009 meanwhile was USD1.68 million, down 3.5% against the corresponding period in 2008, although again a minor improvement against the previous quarter was seen, with Orascom reporting 3Q 2009 EBITDA of USD577.6 million, up 0.9% against 2Q 09. Orascom posted far more healthy results in terms of net profit however; for the three months ended 30 September 2009 it posted a 260.6% y-o-y rise to USD180.9 million.

- Global satellite operator SES S.A. and Jersey, Channel Islands-based O3B Networks Limited (O3b), announced today that SES has made a minority investment in O3b to support the development of O3b’s satellite-based, global internet backbone designed to reach the “other three billion” people in the developing world who today do not have access to the internet. SES joins Google, Liberty Global, HSBC and North Bridge Venture Partners to become a large investor in O3b. SES will invest a total of US$75 M in the company, and will provide engineering and commercial support to O3b in order to assist the company’s development.

­ Morocco's Maroc Telecom Group has reported that its revenues for the first nine months of 2009 totalled EUR1,999 million, up 3.6% compared to the same period in 2008 (+1.1% at constant currency and at constant perimeter). Despite a continuing difficult economic environment, revenue growth was driven by both an ongoing leadership position in Morocco and the solid performance of Maroc Telecom's subsidiaries.