On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Aureos Southern Africa Fund has acquired 30% of Tofo Public Payphones from black economic empowerment private equity fund Community Investment Ventures. The acquisition cost Aureos R15 million. Tofo is a private, commercial cellular payphone company with a customer base of more than 10 000 operators, to whom it provides hardware and airtime. It was acquired by Community Investment Ventures (CIV) last June. Aureos is a subsidiary of Aureos Capital, a global manager of small to medium private equity funds in emerging markets. “Aureos's investment will help us boost our activities in SA and accelerate our expansion into sub-Saharan Africa,” says Joe Madungandaba, CIV executive director and Tofo chairman.

- The market has not taken kindly to a negative trading update from Spescom. The share plunged by 21c or 15.4% to close at 115c on the JSE the day after the group warned that it would incur a loss for the six months to March. Earlier in the day, the share touched an intraday low of 95c before a partial recovery. At the day's close, the Spescom share had lost 45c or 28.13% this month and was the lowest since October 2003.

- Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. (OTA) announced Tuesday that as part of the implementation of its strategy to maximize its equity stake in its key GSM operations, it has signed an agreement to acquire additional 2.83% and 2.00% equity stakes in its Algerian (“OTA”) and Tunisian (“OTT”) GSM operations respectively, for a total consideration of US$ 39.3 million. OTH will increase its proportionate stake in OTA to 62.14% from 59.31% and will increase its ownership in OTT to 22.47% from 20.47%. The transaction will be funded through a combination of debt and cash flow. OTH will extend the same offer to minority shareholders in Orascom Telecom Algeria, and Orascom Telecom Tunisia.