On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- South African state-owned transport utility Transnet said on Tuesday it had begun selling a 5 percent stake in cellphone operator MTN through a book building exercise. Transnet has held the stake in the M-Cell Trust on behalf of the beneficiaries of one of its pension plans. Transnet in September last year ended talks on selling around 75 million shares in MTN, Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, saying the two parties had failed to agree on a "mutually beneficial transaction."

- Vodafone Group started negotiations with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) with regards to the divestiture of Telecom Egypt’s (TE) 25.5% stake in Vodafone Egypt as a result of TE’s announcement that it intends to bid for the third mobile license. If TE wins, it will be necessary that it divests its stake in Vodafone Egypt.

- Nigeria’s second national operator, Globacom, has expressed an interest in acquiring the government’s 51% stake in fixed line incumbent Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel). Globacom joins Telkom South Africa and 19 other investors in the battle for the stake. The auction is expected to go ahead in June this year.

- Africa's largest media group, Naspers, says its unlisted A-shares will not be part of its black economic empowerment transactions in its two South African operations, MultiChoice SA and Media24 later this year. Naspers' unlisted A-shares hold 1000 votes each against the listed N shares. It is through the A- shares that Naspers directors hold a tight control over the group. The group's empowerment partner will not have substantial control in the group. Naspers chief financial officer Steve Pacak said the group would not do an empowerment transaction on a listed level or a deal that would include the group's A-shares, as the group was an international company.