Vodacom said to be eyeing Vumatel stake
18 May 2018
Speculation is growing that Vodacom is poised to buy 49% of fibre-to-the-home provider Vumatel. Industry talk is that Dark Fibre Africa, in a deal possibly facilitated through its largest shareholder, Remgro, will acquire the remaining 51% of the company started by Niel Schoeman and Johan Pretorius.
None of the parties is commenting, but news a week ago that former Vodafone executive Dietlof Mare has taken the reins at Vumatel has added further fuel to the fire.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub on Tuesday declined to comment on the speculation, while Schoeman — who has been appointed as Vumatel’s executive chairman with immediate effect — also declined to comment. Market talk about a possible acquisition of a stake in Vumatel by Vodacom first came to TechCentral’s attention several weeks ago and it not clear whether discussions are still taking place.
If the deal happens, it will be a spectacular exit for Vumatel, which entered the fibre market in 2015 with a project to wire up the Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst
Bloomberg reported in March that Johann Rupert’s investment vehicle, Remgro, is in “advanced talks” to buy the fibre up-start. The plan, according to the news wire’s unnamed sources, is to combine Vumatel and DFA, with Remgro owning a majority stake.