AFRICA CELLULAR'S SHARES INCREASE 40 PERCENT ON ALTX DEBUT

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Shares in Africa Cellular Towers, a manufacturer of steel communication towers, gained as much as 40% in their debut on AltX last week. The stock, which was privately sold for R1 a share began trading at R1,40, giving the company a market value of R322m.

By close of trade, the shares settled at R1,20 after 2798343 shares changed hands in 181 deals. The private placement of the shares before listing was about 10 times oversubscribed. A total of 105,8-million shares were offered, raising a total of R105,8m before expenses.

"We have great expectations for the company as a leading supplier of telecommunications solutions in Africa and other emerging markets. We definitely intend to acquire businesses which will form part of our supply chain to ensure we maintain these attractive margins," said CEO Chris Kruger.

The company's turnover for the year to February was R129,4m. This was expected to increase 21,5% to R157m at the end of next February. Turnkey solutions make up 60% of revenue and the balance is made up of components.

Mainly eyeing the growing global cellphone market, the company aims to expand into emerging markets and capture a larger share of telecommunications infrastructure business, especially in the Middle East and India.

Its main business includes the manufacturing and fabrication of steel communication towers, portal factories, solar structures and general steel engineering. It has also undertaken pioneering work in the construction of cellular towers in Africa. With operations in 24 African countries, it has undertaken more than 900 projects, which include about 3000 towers in rural and remote areas in Africa.

It also manages telecommunications network projects including global systems for mobile telecommunications, such as wireless local loop, fixed wireless and very small aperture terminal technology.

With offices in Johannesburg, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Sudan, the company has had its own manufacturing facility since 2004, with a capacity to produce 1200 tons of steel a month.

Business Day