CIVH, the South African telecoms infrastructure holding company that owns both Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa, is in discussions with local and international investors as it seeks to raise ZAR6 billion (USD389.4 million) worth of new funding. According to TechCentral, which cites sources with knowledge of the situation, Vodacom Group has held talks to buy ‘a significant minority stake’ in CIVH. Vodacom is thought to be interested in securing a 30%-40% stake. The African telecoms giant first entertained a takeover of Vumatel back in 2018, only for CIVH to acquire the company instead.
Vumatel operates one of the country’s largest fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, while Dark Fibre Africa is an open access wholesale operator, with a backbone network that spans well over 10,000km.
According to Vodacom Group’s interim report for the six months ended 30 September 2020, Vodacom South Africa ‘accelerated’ its own fibre rollout during the period under review, more than doubling the total number of connections, to 95,2581. The telco’s ‘owned fibre’ networks passed 128,213 homes and businesses as of end-September.