Visafone Acquires Multilinks for N8 Billion

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Visafone has further strengthened its market position by acquiring Multilinks Communications Limited's CDMA mobile assets. Multilinks is arguably the oldest mobile phone company in Nigeria, having been operating in the country for over 15 years. Telkom Limited, it was learnt, agreed to sell Multilinks' CDMA business to Visafone Communications Limited for N8.1 billion ($52 million).
Telkom on November 22 said Multilinks has 7,000 kilometres (4,351 miles) of fiber-optic cable, 2,000 kilometres of which is shared with MTN Group Ltd. and Globacom Ltd.

At the signing of the agreement in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week, with Jeffrey Hedberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Telkom, the parent-company of Multilinks, Jim Ovia of Visafone said his company recognised that this deal will solidify its position in the Nigerian marketplace and was committed to offering world-class voice and data solutions to existing Multilinks customers.

He said: "This transaction brings us closer to achieving our target of 10 million subscribers within three years. We believe that the superior technology offered by CDMA, combined with a subscriber base of 4.2 million active subscribers will enable Visafone to continue as a game-changing innovator in the Nigerian marketplace."

The union of Visafone and Multilinks creates a total active subscriber base of 4.2 million, which cuts across the nation's six geo-political zones. Ovia, Chairman and Founder of Visafone is strategically redefining and reshaping the CDMA mobile marketplace in terms of both voice and data.

Multilinks has an enviable, high quality subscriber base, some of whom have been on their network before the mobile telephony explosion in Nigeria. According to Mr. Ovia: "Multilinks customers will be afforded the same high quality of network and customer service as existing Visafone subscribers enjoy." Multilinks has, however, assured its customers that it will continue to offer a high level of service and support during this transition period.