On the Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- South Africa Dimension Data (Didata) subsidiary Datacraft has submitted an offer to buy New Zealand-based Integral Axon Computer Systems for an undisclosed amount in an acquisition that will more than double Datacraft New Zealand's business. Integral Axon is an IT services company with gross assets of NZ37,9m (28,4m).

- Zambia’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly ordered Bharti Airtel to carry out an independent valuation of its recently acquired Zain Zambia subsidiary, after local media claimed the financial regulator had rejected Bharti’s offer to minority shareholders.

- Indian business processing outsourcing (BPO) firm Spanco has announced it will invest some US$20 million in Africa’s nascent BPO sector. Spanco, an affiliate of Indian telco Bharti Airtel, said in a press statement that it has put together a comprehensive strategy to tap the BPO opportunities within the African continent.

- Growing demand for mobile phone related services and improving infrastructure networks in Africa has prompted Nokia to invite more European firms to the continent. Mr Esko Aho, the executive vice president company relations Nokia told European entrepreneurs in Finland that Africa is hungry for new investments that can enable consumers to make maximum use of the existing IT networks and phones.

- Ghanaian mobile phone manufacturer, RLG Communications has extended its operations to Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia. Director of Communications for RLG, Mrs. Millicent Atuguba said the company intends to promote the Ghana-made RLG technology across Africa. Mrs. Atuguba said by the close of this year RLG will also be commissioning a multi-million dollar assembling plant in Ghana to train and provide jobs for 30,000 young people across Africa.

- Last week, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) released the draft regulations in which the most noticeable amendment was the absence of a clause which requires applicants for radio frequency spectrum to have a minimum of 30% direct ownership by historically-disadvantaged individuals (HDIs). Industry commentators have slammed the decision, for which no clarification has been offered by ICASA, as being unjustified and detrimental to competition.

- Kenyan Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has approved Safaricom’s acquisition of two data operators - IGO Wireless and Instaconnect – which was first mooted in July 2010. IGO Wireless operates a fixed wireless data service and holds a WiMAX licence, whilst Instaconnect integrates data solutions for clients. Both companies operate under the same management team.