On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- According to the local newspaper, Daily Trust, the House of Representatives in Nigeria went through a second read of a bill that would require GSM Telecommunications services providers to give 30% of their equity to Nigerians.

- South Africa’s SNO, Neotel, has announced Tata Communications has acquired the 30% stake previously held by Eskom and Transnet that it agreed to purchase in January for an undisclosed sum. Tata Communications, in association with Tata Africa Holdings, is now the controlling shareholder in Neotel with a 56% combined direct and indirect stake.

- South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended the approval of the proposed merger between the UK mobile group Vodafone and its 50%-owned South African subsidiary Vodacom. Under the terms of the transaction Vodafone will acquire an additional 15% stake in Vodacom from its partner in the venture, Telkom South Africa. Vodacom shares will then be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Telkom will dispose of its remaining 35% interest among its own shareholders.

­The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the GSM Association have announced a programme that will expand the availability of mobile banking services in the developing world. The Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme, supported by a US$12.5 million grant from the foundation, will work with mobile operators, banks, microfinance institutions, government and development organizations to encourage the expansion of reliable, affordable mobile financial services to the unbanked.