ECONET BUYS S.AFRICA'S ALTECH OUT OF JOINT VENTURE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Econet Wireless Group has agreed to buy South African IT firm Allied Technologies out of the companies' joint venture for $87.5 million, Altech said on Wednesday.

Altech said the two companies had also agreed to settle all disputes between them by waiving any claims they had against each other, and said it would look for other acquisition opportunities in Africa and elsewhere.

Shares in Altech rose as much as 4.9 percent before slipping back to trade up 2.6 percent at 44.00 rand by 0941 GMT, as shareholders breathed a sigh of relief the company's spat with Econet had been settled.

Altech, which has interests in telecoms, electronics and other technology ventures, earlier this month said it had applied to wind up its joint venture with Econet or sell its stake to them for $100 million, after the two firms fell out.

Altech blamed "irretrievable differences" between the two companies on different management cultures, while Econet Chief Executive Strive Masiyiwa says they fell out over a court case involving comments by an Altech executive.

Altech invested $70 million on December 24 to form the Altech Econet Wireless (AEW) venture.

Altech said on Wednesday it would get the $87.5 million in three tranches, with the final payment on October 29.

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