On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

-   The SNO process in Zimbabwe which collapsed recently is likely to be retendered soon. Telkom South Africa is apparently interested but there appear to be few other likely bidders…It is also interested in DRC’s shell of an incumbent OPCT that failed to consummate its deal several years ago with a Korean company Komyung Co Ltd The sticking point at every turn is that OPCT has around 500 employees and whilst it claims 10,000 fixed lines, the number of subscribers is probably actually much smaller. The World Bank has discussed putting up the money to make these workers redundant but things are not moving forward.

- Celtel Kenya has announced it had posted an after tax profit of Sh1.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2005. This was the first time the mobile operator has made a profit after entering the market six year ago. The profitability, which represented an increase a 175 per cent over the same period the previous year, was helped by strong sales and significant improvement in efficiency following the firm's reorganisation. In the previous financial year, the company had posted a loss after taxation of Sh1.8 billion.

- Vodafone is set to complete its takeover of South African holding company VenFin by making a compulsory acquisition of the 1.5% of the company it has not yet acquired. The UK firm has been buying up VenFin shares at SAR47.25 each, well above its trading price, in an attempt to win complete control. It is now able to invoke a compulsory purchase of all outstanding shares, allowing it to delist the company. Vodafone is only interested in VenFin’s 15% stake in South African cellular operator Vodacom and plans an immediate sell-off of its other assets. On completion, Vodafone will have a 50% share in Vodacom, with South Africa’s former monopoly operator Telkom holding the remainder.