On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Nitel mobile operation (which operates under the brand name M-Tel) has said it expects turnover to almost double to NGN30 billion (USD227 million) this year, up from NGN15.5 billion in 2004. On Saturday CEO Edwin Moore Momife announced that the cellco will increase its capacity by 1.5 million lines in 2005 and that it expects to have signed up two million subscribers by the end of June. .

- An empowerment consortium, led by Batsalani Communications, has clinched a 60% empowerment shareholding - worth USD64 million - in Gateway Communications. Other empowerment investors include the LA Group, Willowton Oil and Earlyworks, with additional funding coming from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Investec. "The liberalisation of the telecoms industry offers immense opportunities for the IDC to facilitate the participation of black investors in telecoms," says IDC head of corporate affairs, Dante Mashile. Farouk Abrahams, CEO of Batsalani, agrees. "One of the great things about this deal is that Gateway, as a value-added network services (VANS) provider, has already more than met its BEE obligations in terms of the VANS licensing conditions."

- South African telecoms group Telkom expected full-year basic earnings per share and headline earnings per share to increase by 35-55 percent, the company said on Tuesday. "Telkom accordingly advises that it expects an increase of between 35 percent and 55 percent in basic earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the year ending 31 March 2005 from the year ended 31 March 2004. The above results have been impacted by restructuring expenses and extending the useful lives of certain assets," Telkom said in a trading statement to the JSE Securities Exchange.