Black-Owned Telecoms Firms Buy Stake in Nokia Unit in South Africa

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Two black-owned telecoms investment companies are taking stakes in the local operations of Nokia Siemens Networks.

No value has been disclosed for the deal, under which Sekunjalo Telecoms and Africom Telecom Holdings each take 13% of Nokia Siemens Networks Holdings RSA, which is the parent company that holds 60% of the operating entity Nokia Siemens Networks SA. Reunert holds 40%.

The overall result of the deal is to give Nokia Siemens Networks SA a black shareholding of 18,9%, partly achieved through Reunert's existing 9,5% black ownership.

The companies are paying market value for their stakes, and are borrowing the cash from Rand Merchant Bank.

Linda Khumalo, the head of Nokia Siemens Networks SA, said the move was the first phase of its black empowerment compliance process. Nokia Siemens Networks was formed by merging the infrastructure divisions of Nokia and Siemens to gain economies of scale by becoming one of the world's largest telecoms infrastructure suppliers.

Sekunjalo Telecoms and Africom Telecom Holdings already hold shares in the local operations of Siemens, making them the obvious choice of black partners for the newly created Nokia Siemens Networks, said Khumalo. "It is a relationship that we have inherited, but this is a new shareholding deal to get Nokia Siemens Networks compliant with the black empowerment codes of conduct."

Business Day