Tunisian ICT firm and the parent company of ISP GlobalNet, Standard Sharing Software (3S), has acquired a more than 20% share in rival broadband operator HexaByte. According to statements from the Tunis Stock Exchange (Bourse des Valeurs de Tunis, BVMT), 3S now holds a 21.6% stake in the company, having seemingly acquired shares from the Arab Tunisian for Investment and Development (ATID) Fund and the Tunisian Development Fund (TDF) both of which sold their holdings of 5.58% apiece this week. Local news outlet Tunisie Haut Debit speculates that, as the share increase potentially allows 3S a position on the HexaByte board, the firm could be looking towards a potential merger of the two providers.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, GlobalNet and HexaByte have both recorded a drop in their market shares over the last year: GlobalNet’s share dropped from 10.9% to 9.7% in the twelve months to end-June 2019, whilst HexaByte saw its portion of the market drop to 4.1% from 5.1% over the same period. Of the pair only HexaByte recorded a dip in its subscriber base, however, with GlobalNet’s position undermined by its failure to match the rate of growth across the rest of the market.