Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Maroc Telecom and Gabon’s government signed, on 23 December 2010, an amendment to the share purchase agreement of 2007 under which the Moroccan telco bought 51% of Gabon Telecom, thus bringing to a conclusion the acquisition process, Global Arab Network reports, according to MAP. The agreement marks the finalisation of closing-related operations, notably the financial restructuring of the business, the fulfilment of various legal preconditions, the implementation of a redundancy plan, responsibility for which was assumed by the Gabonese government, as well as the payment of various reciprocal debts, Maroc Telecom said in a press release. Under this agreement, Maroc Telecom paid to the Gabonese state the balance amounting to EUR34.7 million of the purchase price, in addition to the initial payment of EUR26.3 million, for a total of EUR61 million.

- Safaricom, Kenya's leading mobile communications operator, will invest Ksh10 billion ($125 million) in sprucing up its network. The move follows recent reports by the industry regulator, Communication Commission of Kenya, detailing sub-standard services by three of the four licensed operators in the country. Safaricom and Telkom Orange were ranked bottom. Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Claire Ruto told The EastAfrican that the company had acknowledged the need to improve its network quality with the intention of "delivering a superior communication experience to our customers."

- In South Africa, listed computer distributor Mustek could be de-listed from the JSE by the middle of the year, if a proposed buyout by a consortium is successful. In December, Mustek told shareholders a consortium led by its CEO and founder, David Kan, as well as the Trinitas Private Equity Fund, had put a non-binding offer on the table to buy out shareholders for R5.55.

- The competition among telecommunications service providers in Uganda has led to a fall in the inflation rate to 4%, the lowest in three years.  According to the National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), telecommunication prices this year fell by 46%.

- Libya's two state-owned mobile networks, Al Madar and Libyana will be listed on the local stock exchange by the end of April, Libya's chairman of the privatisation and investment board said. "We are working on it with Al Madar and Libyana. Probably about two to five percent, that is the maximum that will be floated," Gamal Al-Lamushe told Reuters.

- Israel-based ECI Telecom has entered Uganda, with plans to use it as a launch pad for further investment in the region.