Mweb Africa Aquires iWay Africa
MWEB Africa, a subsidiary of Naspers Limited, has acquired leading African satellite ISP, AFSAT Communications Limited which operates under the brand name iWay Africa.
The acquisition takes MWEB Africa's representation in Africa from 16 to 26 countries. MWEB Africa has subsidiaries in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. MWEB Africa is a division of Multichoice Africa Limited and was established in 1999 to service the markets in the Rest of Africa.
AFSAT is Africa's biggest satellite based ISP and is active in over 26 countries in East, West and Southern Africa. It has operating subsidiaries in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
AFSAT provides Internet connectivity to both business and residential customers. In addition, it provides corporate and governmental customers with highly reliable and secure corporate data network solutions. AFSAT was set up in 1994 and has been backed by a group of shareholders which included the company's senior management, Wilken Africa Limited and Modern Africa LLC, an investment fund managed by London-based Helios Invest-ment Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on sub-Saharan Africa.
Commenting on the transaction Harry Aucamp CEO of MWEB Africa said: "MWEB Africa's strategy is to expand its presence and Internet services throughout Africa. The acquisition of AFSAT will considerably strengthen our representation and underlines our commitment to be a
leading player in this dynamic market. The AFSAT iWay service is a perfect fit with our current MWEB VSAT service."
The acquisition significantly strengthens MWEB's African presence, making it one of the biggest providers of Internet connectivity services, with more representation and clients than any other service provider on the continent. Of additional benefit to MWEB customers will be the various cross-border connectivity and facilities linking to both the USA and Europe.
"The AFSAT platform is the leading satellite data service in Africa and will enable us to offer our customers in these markets a high quality, reliable and flexible service," said Aucamp. "In many African countries, companies, governments and home users cannot rely on fixed line broadband services, so satellite-based Internet access becomes a vital link to the rest of Africa and the world. We believe the potential for growth is excellent and adding AFSAT to our offering puts MWEB Africa in an excellent position to take advantage of this potential."
Salim Suleman, founder and CEO of AFSAT and who will remain with the company as Group Managing Director, commented: "We look forward to becoming part of the MWEB Africa Group. We have a common vision for the business, and the resources that MWEB bring will enable the business to expand to a new level."