Above (From left to right): Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom, Troy Reynolds, Deputy Group General Counsel of Tata Communications, and Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Chairman of Econet Global and Liquid Telecom
Johannesburg and London, 28 June 2016 – Liquid Telecom, a privately owned pan-African telecoms group, majority owned by Econet Global, announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire South African communications network operator Neotel. The shareholders of Neotel –Tata Communications of India and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion (Nexus) – have agreed for Liquid Telecom to acquire Neotel for ZAR 6.55bn. Liquid Telecom is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a South African investment group, which has committed to take a 30% equity stake in Neotel.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is transformative and will create the largest pan-African broadband network. Through a single access point, businesses across Africa will be able to access 40 000kms of cross-border, metro and access fibre networks. These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya, with further expansion planned.
Commenting on the transaction, Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom CEO, said: “We are excited about this transaction. Leveraging the strengths of Liquid Telecom, RBH and Neotel, we will offer an unprecedented fibre network with a unique set of services and international connectivity for telecom operators and enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa. For the first time, African companies will be able to connect with each other in a cost effective and reliable way, all on a single fibre network. We will also be increasing investments into Neotel to cater for rapidly accelerating mobile and enterprise traffic, enabling us to launch exciting new products and services.”
Albertinah Kekana, Royal Bafokeng Holdings CEO, said: “This transaction is part of our diversification strategy and its focus on infrastructure is in line with our objective to invest in high growth sectors. As a long term investor, we are pleased to be partnering with Liquid Telecom who has a very credible track record in rolling out fibre in challenging and diverse markets. This deal represents our long-term investment approach and our commitment to the African growth story.”
Speaking on behalf of Tata Communications, Neotel’s majority shareholder, Vinod Kumar, MD and CEO, said: “Liquid Telecom is the right partner for the next phase of Neotel’s evolution. Convergence of technologies and services will be the key driver of growth across the globe and this transaction will encourage inclusion and support the growth aspirations of the African continent. We believe that Liquid Telecom will deliver on the vision of a well-connected Africa, which will augur well for the South African telecom industry and Neotel’s customers.”
Nexus, Neotel’s minority shareholder, also welcomed the transaction.
Speaking on behalf of Nexus, Kennedy Memani, said: “We welcome this transaction with Liquid Telecom and RBH. It will see the sale of Neotel to new shareholders who have the vision, expertise and funding to continue to grow the company and to allow it to reach its full potential in South Africa and across the African Continent. We are confident that customers and employees will benefit from the transaction and from the resulting stability and business expansion.”
The transaction is subject to approval by South African regulatory authorities and is expected to be completed later this year.
Liquid Telecom was advised by The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (lead advisor, mandated lead arranger and global coordinator) and UBS.
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The alliance includes licensing of faith and values-based content
JOHANNESBURG AND MIAMI, June 18, 2016 – T.D. Jakes Enterprises International, and Econet, a multinational, diversified telecommunications group, today announce that they are entering into a relationship to form a multiyear partnership to develop and distribute faith and values-based content across Africa.
Africa is one of the key priorities for T.D. Jakes Enterprises international’s global expansion. The alliance with Econet Media will be structured to dramatically expand the reach and viewership of Bishop Jakes’s sermons, Ministries content, films and TV shows in Africa. The deal will include carriage of Bishop Jakes’ content across Econet’s various media platforms, including the much-anticipated African entertainment brand, Kwesé.
As part of a broader focus on values-based entertainment, T.D. Jakes Enterprises International and Econet Media will also collaborate in developing family-oriented independent films and content that aligns with the Bishop’s motivational outreach to live a purposeful life. Exploring personal stories and struggles with leadership, love, marriage, parenting and relationships, the content will be initially showcased in Africa on Kwesé channels as well as on digital and mobile platforms.
The collaboration will reinforce the rich history and connection between African-American and African audiences and their common stories. The announcement was made against the backdrop of the American Black Film Festival, an annual international event currently being held in Miami, which celebrates content made by and about people of African descent and shared with a worldwide audience.
The alliance will represent the coming together of two globally recognized humanitarians and business leaders – Bishop T.D. Jakes and Strive Masiyiwa – and the need to create and deliver content that draws inspiration from their shared faith and commitment to uplifting communities. Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of most highly respected and influential voices in America, has ignited the hearts and minds of millions around the world through his inspirational messages and best-selling books, sermons, award-winning music and critically acclaimed plays and events. Strive Masiyiwa, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, is one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
“One of our core beliefs is that in driving strategic alliances we can create value for our audiences and this latest news is testimony to that principle. This alliance that we are forming will create a transformative platform to reach and inspire the lives of many through unique values-based content”, said Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Founder and Executive Chairman. “Bishop Jakes is greatly admired across Africa, and we are pleased to be developing an alliance with his organization, whose optimism and hope, in many ways reflects our own.”
“This groundbreaking alliance will deliver our content to a region with nearly a billion people and reflects our desire to expand our reach and engagement with our African brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Jakes. “Strive Masiyiwa and Econet Media are our ideal partners and we are excited to be forming what we hope will be the beginning of an expanded partnership”.
Bishop Jakes has a long history in Africa, having travelled, spoken and hosted events all across the continent, including one of the largest faith-based festivals in Africa, MegaFest, hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa.
About Econet Media
Econet Media is a subsidiary company of Econet, a leading diversified telecommunications group with investments and operations across Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim. The group was founded by one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs Strive Masiyiwa, who serves as Executive Chairman. The group’s subsidiaries include mobile wireless operations, satellite services, the continent’s largest terrestrial fibre network (Liquid Telecom) and a range of mobile education, health and financial services products. Kwesé TV is Econet Media’s soon-to-be-launched pan-African entertainment platform that includes broadcast, mobile and internet-based viewing options. For more information on Kwesé TV, log on to www.kwese.com.
About T.D. Jakes Enterprises
In addition to holding both a Quill Award and Grammy Award, Bishop Jakes is the recipient of several NAACP Image Awards, including the President’s Award, and the Best Independent or Foreign Film Award. For his outstanding leadership, he has received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award and the Trumpet Award. In addition, Bishop Jakes has served as speaker at many prestigious events and ceremonies including the historic 2009 Presidential Inauguration in which President Barack Obama asked Bishop Jakes to deliver the morning service. A prolific author of more than 40 books, Bishop Jakes has numerous best sellers and has been quoted or profiled in such notable publications as Forbes, The Washington Post, Essence, Time, Ebony, and D Magazine. For more information on Bishop TD Jakes, visit www.tdjakes.org or www.tdjakes.com.
Regina Lewis, T.D. Jakes Enterprises, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tshepo Mphela, Havas PR South Africa, +27 11 549 3600, email@example.com
Image Caption: (From Left to Right) Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Strive Masiyiwa and Adam Zampa
Johannesburg and New York, 2 June 2016 – Econet Media through their sporting offering Kwese Sport has yet again confirmed their commitment to offering their viewers the best sporting content available by signing a historic agreement with Cricket Australia.
This 5 year partnership will see the TV provider, Econet Media, broadcast international men’s and women’s cricket as well as the KFC Big Bash League (BBL) and Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) across Sub-Saharan Africa regions via their multiscreen offering Kwese Sports. This partnership will kick off with the coming 2016/17 season.
Econet Media through Kwese Sports has committed themselves to ensuring that they offer their audiences on the African continent content with a wide-ranging appeal. This need has seen the broadcaster in recent months securing the rights for English Premier League Football for 50 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the US National Basketball Association (NBA).
Joseph Hundah, CEO of Econet Media, said “The partnership with Cricket Australia is a continuation of our commitment to bring great quality content to our audiences in Africa. This content offering will appeal to all our audiences and provide variety as diverse as our beautiful continent. Cricket is loved in Eastern and Southern Africa and we wanted to ensure that our audience in these markets will have an opportunity to enjoy the best action available. We are also excited about the opportunity to expose the sport to new audiences within those and other markets.”
Cricket Australia Executive General Manager of Media, Communications & Marketing Ben Amarfio said the deal further cemented the vast array of interest in Australian cricket “We’re really excited to renew with our long standing partners as well as welcome new partners Econet Media into the Australian Cricket family. The appetite and competition to acquire Cricket Australia’s media rights is a testament to the outstanding quality of cricket which has been consistently demonstrated by our cricketers and this continues to attract very strong interest for our game. We are fortunate to be partnering with such prominent companies who clearly value the quality of Australian cricket content.”
Amarfio continues, “The growth of the overall cricket product offering, including the Big Bash League in recent years, has been phenomenal, particularly in the past 12 months. We are constantly looking at innovative ways to reach new fans around the world; it is very much a focus for us to ensure the game is accessible on multiple devices and we create greater reach and breadth of coverage for fans. Our current and new broadcast partners are renowned for delivering world class sports broadcasting and we look forward to them taking the game to more people in innovative ways. This is a very important aspect for us in our efforts to grow the game and was a major consideration as our broadcasting team completed these latest rights deals.”
About Econet Media
Econet Media is a subsidiary company of Econet, a leading diversified telecommunications group with investments and operations across Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim. The group was founded by one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs Strive Masiyiwa, who serves as Executive Chairman. The group’s subsidiaries include mobile wireless operations, satellite services, the continent’s largest terrestrial fibre network (Liquid Telecom) and a range of mobile education, health and financial services products. Kwesé TV is Econet Media’s soon-to-be-launched pan-African entertainment platform that includes broadcast, mobile and internet-based viewing options. For more information about Kwesé Sports, please log on to www.kwesesports.com.
About Cricket Australia
Australian cricket is administered by one national body, six states and two territory associations. Cricket Australia (CA) is the national governing body for the game in Australia. Connecting cricket’s local and state levels through its members, the six state cricket associations. CA has a vision for cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport, and a sport for all Australians. At an international level, CA was a foundation member of cricket’s world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), and is one of 10 ICC full members.