Remgro, the investment vehicle of South African billionaire Johann Rupert, is in advanced talks to buy fibre-optic provider Vumatel in a bid to consolidate the country’s broadband infrastructure industry, according to people familiar with the matter. TechCentral writes that the deal would value Vumatel at ZAR1.1 billion (USD93 million). If the deal goes through, Remgro would combine Vumatel with rival Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), in which it owns a majority stake. According to the unnamed sources, talks between DFA and Vumatel started in October and could be concluded within the next two months. The merger would allow DFA, which has a fibre-optic network of roughly 10,000km, to expand into South Africa’s fibre-to-home (FTTH) market.
TeleGeography notes that Vumatel lit its 1Gbps open access fibre infrastructure in Parkhurst in October 2015. In October 2016 it acquired rival Fibrehoods – which started deploying fibre-optic networks to 24 suburbs in the Gauteng region in March 2015 – for an undisclosed sum, while in July 2017 it acquired some of the infrastructure of fibre network company Link Africa.