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Friday, April 01, 2011

Visafone buys Multi-Links CDMA subsidiary for N8.1bn

Determined to position itself as the third largest telecommunications operator in the country before 2012, Visafone Communications Limited has bought over the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) subsidiary of the Multi-Links Telkom at the sum of $52 million, about N8,002,799,682.62 billion.

ITRealms Online recalls that Multi-Links Telkom has since November announced its winding-up from the Nigerian telecommunications market in phases, due to what officials described as lack of profit from the finances invested in the entire Nigerian operation to acquire it in 2007 for $410 million.

With this development, Telkom South Africa Limited has agreed to sell its Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)-technology business in Nigeria, but has to keep its fiber- optic division in anticipation it would soon blossom with the landing of various submarine cables and internet broadband penetration in the country.

This, sources close to the parent company of Multi-Link Telkom in South Africa confirmed to Bloomberg South Africa in a press statement, saying it would benefit from a possible surge in demand for data and fixed-line services in Africa’s most populous country.

Telkom has concluded arrangement for the disposing of its CDMA business of Multi-Links for $52 million to Visafone Communications Limited, in a press statement made available to Bloomberg on Friday.

Telkom also stated that Africa’s largest fixed-line telephone operator will retain Multi-Links’ fixed-line and fibre-network operations as it refocuses on its “core competencies,” part of the statement read.

According to the report, Telkom shares reportedly leaped from about 1.50 Rand or 4.1 per cent to 38.50 Rand thereby traded at 37.67 Rand as of 4:05 p.m. in Johannesburg.

The operator said proceeds for Telkom would be net of the existing liabilities of the Multi-Links CDMA business, Telkom said, even as the spokesman for Telkom, Pynee Chetty, refused comment on the development.

Telkom had on November 22, 2010 disclosed its intensions to trade off Multi-Links’ 7,000 kilometers (4,351 miles) of fiber-optic cable, 2,000 kilometers of which is shared with MTN Group Ltd. and Nigeria’s Globacom Ltd. CDMA otherwise refers to radio technology used in data phones and networks.

Multi-links Telkom Nigeria is quitting its CDMA operations in Nigeria due to continued operating losses, despite reducing cost measures taken by the management of the firm to shore up profit.

On the other hand, Visafone since its incorporation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on June 20, 2007, has gone on acquisition spree, acquiring one telecom company after another.

Visafone was literally birthed from the strategic acquisition of three CDMA mobile network operators that had been in operation for up to eight years with 30,000 subscribers and coverage in different parts of the country.

And following its getting hold of Cellcom, Visafone received its Unified Access Service License (UAL) as a telecom operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on August 1, 2007, thereby positioned it to offer mobile, fixed and any other telecommunications service to its subscribers and has grown to over 3 million subscribers thereafter and precisely within 16 months of operation and crossed the 1 million subscriber mark in just 6 months from its launch in February 2008.

Visafone is lead by Mr. Jim Ovia, a reputed aggressive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investor and founder of Zenith Bank plc.

Remmy Nweke:
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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