Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Safaricom and Orange have formed a new infrastructure company through which they will share some communication equipment and cut down on costs. The joint tower management company will as part of its mandate; lease accumulated tower space to anyone wishing to install wireless communication equipment and will also be involved in management of energy costs. "We have been in talks for a while now assessing the viability of this initiative which was prompted by the need for the industry to explore improved cost efficiency on infrastructure management which forms a significant portion of our operational expenses," said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

- Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, chairman of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has agreed to increase his company’s stake in Tunisian cellco Tunisiana beyond its current 75%.

- Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) is attempting to reinstate an initial public offer (IPO) for Tunisie Telecom (TT), of which it owns a 35% stake, after claiming that the planned share sale was cancelled without its approval. In October 2010 TT had planned a dual listing on the Paris and Tunis exchanges, with 10% being offered by EIT and 10% by the Tunisian government, which holds the other 65% of TT. In January this year the sale was put on hold until the country’s political situation had stabilised.

- According to Reuters, Indian telecoms firm Tata Communications has announced that it has increased its effective shareholding in South African fixed line telecoms provider Neotel from 49% to 61.5%.

- According to news agency Comtex, mCel, Mozambique’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers has announced that it generated USD10 million worth of profit in 2010. The announcement, which cites local media reports, adds that mCel’s subscriber base grew to 4.25 million by end-2010, equivalent to a 13% rise year-on-year.