On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- 3Com has announced that it has completed the acquisition of TippingPoint Technologies, Inc, located in Texas in the US. TippingPoint is a leading provider of intrusion prevention systems (IPS) that deliver in-depth application protection, infrastructure protection and performance protection. As part of 3Com, TippingPoint accelerates the company's strategy for delivering secure, converged networks to enterprises of all sizes, and will expand its product portfolio with the addition of these award-winning intrusion prevention systems. "The acquisition of TippingPoint now enables us to provide an even more comprehensive product portfolio, offering local enterprises of all sizes best-in-class and open standards-based secure, converged network solutions," says Johnathene Beyers, general country manager of 3Com SA.

- The US government has announced that it will help Ethiopia to sell off 49% of state-owned incumbent telco Ethiopia Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) in mid-2005. Ethiopia has been looking to privatise ETC for several years, with a number of companies having expressed an interest in acquiring the stake. The US government said it will provide any assistance needed for the privatisation process. The main problem has been the Government's oft-repeated reluctance to privatise this state asset.

- South African shares marched to a record high on Thursday as phone firm Telkom jumped on an upbeat broker note. The Johannesburg top-40 index of blue chips hopped 0.67 percent higher to 11,993.90 points, notching up a second consecutive historic closing high, while the all-share index rose 0.6 percent to 13,259.76 points. Telkom was the top gainer on the top-40, leaping 4.67 percent as a note from Deutsche Bank tipping the stock as a top pick focused attention on its attractive valuation versus emerging market peers, and raised hopes a liberalised market would not seriously dent the company's profits. "Deregulation came with a big hoo-ha but people are starting to realise that the competitors are just nowhere and Telkom is not going to be impacted, at least not for a long time," said one Johannesburg-based telecoms analyst.

- Prospective investors from China and United States (U.S) are among top bidders for equity participation in the proposed Nigeria Communication Satellite, expected to be formally launched in December 2006. Emerging facts indicate that the federal government may grab as much as 60 per cent equities in the multi-million dollar project while the remaining 40 per cent would be thrown to local and international private sector operators. Already, Chinese EximBank and New Stars of U.S. had approached the government with offers to inject funds into the mega project estimated to cost between USD250 million and USD300 million.