South Africa: Vox Telecom is going private

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

After 10 months of speculation, Vox Telecom has finally confirmed that it’s going private. Assuming it gets the necessary approvals, the company will delist from the JSE after receiving a R500m acquisition offer from a consortium comprising Lereko Metier Trustees and Investec Bank.

And in a surprise development, former Internet Solutions CEO Angus MacRobert will be appointed as co-CEO of Vox Telecom, alongside Doug Reed, its current CEO, provided the acquisition and delisting go ahead, which seems likely.

Vox shareholders are being offered 45c/share or one share in a special purpose vehicle created by the members of the bidding consortium for every 10 Vox shares held. They may also elect to accept a combination of these two options.

The proposed deal carries the support of 40,1% of existing shareholders and 53,4% of shareholders entitled to vote (RMB, Mvelaphanda and the IDC) and an application will be made to the JSE to terminate the company’s listing on AltX.

The offer represents a premium of 23% to the 30-day volume weighted average price of Vox Telecom’s ordinary shares. The total value of the deal is R499m.

“The independent board of Vox Telecom has considered the terms of the offer, and based on the information currently available to it, is unanimous in its support for the proposed transaction, subject to receiving a favourable opinion from KPMG, the independent advisor to Vox,” the company says in a statement.

“Vox’s goal of raising capital through its AltX listing has not materialised as expected, mainly due to a lack of institutional investor support for small cap firms,” the company says. “With recent regulatory announcements providing more certainty for the telecommunications sector, Vox has started adjusting its business strategy so that it can continue to provide clients with compelling products and services. Delivering on this strategy is best achieved in an unlisted environment where management can focus on the business without distraction, particularly as there is potential for pressure on short term profitability.”

The deal must still get shareholder approval as well as a nod from the JSE, the SA Reserve Bank, the Takeover Regulation Panel and the competition authorities.