Tata to increase Neotel stake

25 June 2008

Indian multinational Tata Communications has announced its intention to acquire a further 30% interest in South Africa’s second landline operator Neotel, from the state-owned enterprises Eskom and Transnet.

Upon completion of the transaction, Tata Communications and Tata Africa, both controlled by the Tata Group, will become the major shareholder in Neotel, with an effective 56% stake.

“This agreement is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, some of which have a period of up to 180 days to be fulfilled,” Tata communications says in a statement this week.

The other shareholders of Neotel are Nexus, Communitel and Two Telecom Consortium.

Neotel introduced its first consumer offering in April this year, with their NeoConnect bundle which includes 1 000 Neotel to Neotel voice minutes, 50 Neotel to Neotel SMS’s, an email account and free internet access up to 10 gigabytes of data for a monthly charge of R599.

The company is also providing the optical fibre backbone for the newly established South African National Research Network (Sanren), and will also operate the local landing station of the majority African-owned Seacom cable that will link southern and eastern Africa with India and Europe.

Tata Africa Holdings, situated in Johannesburg, is the company which holds the Tata Group’s interests in 10 countries across the continent, with collective investments of over US$100-million.

SAinfo reporter

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