Tata seeking new buyer for Neotel

7 Mar 2016

Indian telecoms group Tata Communications is reportedly looking for a new buyer for its South African subsidiary Neotel, following the collapse of Vodacom’s acquisition of the latter. Tata’s CEO Vinod Kumar confirmed to Reuters: ‘We were in talks with Vodacom, as there was no other potential buyer with which we were committed … However, many market participants have expressed an interest and now the time has come for us to explore these options.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in May 2014 Vodacom agreed to acquire the smaller operator for ZAR7 billion (USD566 million), and despite the vehement opposition of rival operators MTN South Africa and Cell C, the country’s telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) gave its conditional approval to the deal in June 2015. following an appeal logged by rivals MTN, Telkom and Cell C, in late February the High Court in Pretoria ruled against Vodacom’s acquisition of Neotel’s spectrum and licences, and subsequently the two sides decided to call off the takeover.

South Africa, Liquid Telecom South Africa, Tata Communications, Vodacom Group, Vodacom South Africa