On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- It has been reported that the proposed merger of South Africa's MTN with India's Reliance Communications would then seek a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange. The London Times newspaper, citing sources close to the merger talks said that the negotiations, which started in secret several months ago, were going well and were likely to be concluded before the end of a 45-day exclusivity period. Reliance and MTN agreed to a 45 day period of exclusive talks at the end of last month after discussions between Bharti Artel and MTN broke down over management issues.

- Celtel Tanzania paid taxes and levies of Sh71 billion to Government last year. The company said in a statement that the dues paid were corporate tax, value added tax, excise duty, pay as you earn, the skills development levy and the withholding tax.

- Kuwaiti based, Hits Telecoms which operates in Uganda and Congo will held a general assembly meeting at the end of June to discuss the recommendation of the Governing Council to increase the capital from KD 19,500,000 (US$73 million) to KD 95,000,000 (US$356 million), an increase of KD 75,500,000 (US$283 million).

- Telkom South Africa says its talks with two separate groups concerning potential buy-out offers are still proceeding. Telkom has received an offer from Vodafone of the UK to acquire part of its 50% stake in South Africa’s largest cellco, Vodacom, on the condition that the remainder of the stake is offered to the public. Vodafone already owns the other 50% of Vodacom. Meanwhile, a consortium headed by local businessman Tokyo Sexwale has made an offer to acquire Telkom, conditional upon its disposal of its interest in Vodacom.

- Vodacom Tanzania says that to date, it has invested around USD2 billion in the country to expand its networks and services and will continue to invest there to reach more people – particularly those living in rural parts of Tanzania.

- Telkom South Africa has reported a 7.8% drop in net profit for its financial year to the end of March as gains from its mobile operations were cancelled out by higher operating costs. Net profit for the year fell to ZAR7.98 billion (USD1.01 billion), from ZAR8.65 billion in 2006/07, though revenues rose 9% to ZAR56.87 billion.

- Separately, Vodacom published its own full-year financial results, with net income up 23% to ZAR7.81 billion, while sales were up 17.1% at ZAR48.2 billion, boosted by a 49.7% increase in data revenue. Vodacom had 34 million subscribers at the end of March, up 12.7% in twelve months, with 24.8 million in South Africa and the remainder at its operations in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.

- Mallam Bashir el Rufai, the Chairman of IHS Nigeria, a leading telecom infrastructure provider, has disclosed that the company will be introduced to the Nigerian Stock Exchange before October. IHS according to him has built infrastructure in more than 30 states and has offices in Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Uyo and Port Harcourt.