On the Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- In South Africa, Bihati Solutions, a telecoms infrastructure provider, has filed a R1.7bn suit against Telkom for its delay in implementing a multibillion-rand tender awarded to Bihati and others in 2008.

- Econet Wireless Zimbabwe defied all odds, posting an impressive set of numbers for the full year ended February 2010. The telecommunications giant made a profit of US$113 million for the period and it seems to be the main drivers of the industry's growth, whose penetration levels improved from 13 percent in February 2009 to the current 40 percent. Evidence lies in Econet's current market share of 72 percent (or 4 million subscribers).

- South Africa’s embattled Faritec has sold off one of its business units, and is in the process of selling what was its third-largest revenue-spinner to a former director. The company, which needs to raise R60 million to continue operating and implement a turnaround strategy, last week sold its Microsoft large account reseller business to First Technology. Now Faritec is in talks to sell its managed services division to a company represented by former director Peter Winn.

- France Telecom has posted a bigger-than-expected decline in first quarter profit with earnings dragged down by falling business services and tighter regulation. Revenues from the Middle East and Africa grew by 7.3 per cent in the first quarter, driven by the French group’s businesses in Cameroon and Ivory Coast. Growth in new start-up services in several African countries was 22 per cent. The figures would appear to validate the plan of Stéphane Richard, the new chief executive, to focus on the continent and the Middle East for new acquisitions over the next five years.