On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced that the planned IPO for the state-owned telecommunications company, NITEL, would be launched in November. The IPO will be Nigeria’s largest offering and there are unconfirmed reports that the shares may be dual listed in Lagos and Johannesburg. The listing of NITEL’s shares is expected by the BPE to significantly boost liquidity on the stock exchange while also attracting a core investor for the company.

- Mobile value-added service provider iTouch, founded in SA, and now listed on the London Stock Exchange, has announced a 90% increase in revenue to £25,8m, and a breakthrough to positive earnings before interest and tax (Ebitda) in the six months to end June 2003.

- State-owned IT group Arivia.kom is considering making an offer to shareholders of embattled JSE-listed IT services and solutions group AST. Arivia.kom CEO Zeth Malele said his group had been on the prowl for an acquisition for some time: "We looked at all the available brides and this is where our interest has been locked".