HUAWEI SELLS STAKE TO BEE CONSORTIUM

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies has sold a 31% stake in its South African operations for R6,3m to Nulane Investments. The move will make the Chinese company fully compliant with the requirements of the hi-tech sector's empowerment charter.

It should also help Huawei to recruit and retain more black technicians, as it has committed to setting up a small training centre in SA. The newly created venture will trade as Huawei Technologies Africa, although the deal does not include the company's activities in other African nations, including its growing presence in Nigeria.

Nulane director Lester Peteni has been appointed as chairman of the venture. Although Nulane has only four direct shareholders, including Yusof Surtee, a familiar face in the industry, Peteni insists that it is a broad-based consortiums.

He said the beneficiaries beneath him included the Disadvantaged Persons' Trust, with about 700 stakeholders. The deal sees R5m paid to Huawei in cash for the 31% stake, funded by the Standard Bank, with Peteni contributing some business operations in Angola in lieu of another R1,3m.Huawei had a revenue of $5,5bn last year, of which $486m came from Africa. Kevin Tao, the president of Huawei sub-Saharan Africa, said they had been looking for an empowerment partner since the beginning of the year.

Business Day