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Vodacom Selling Enterprise Operations in 5 African Markets

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The Vodacom Group is selling out of its enterprise businesses in Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire

Vodacom said on Friday that it is undertaking a strategic repositioning of its Vodacom Business Africa operations that will result in three separate share purchase agreements involving its enterprise businesses in the five countries.

"Subject to various regulatory and statutory body approvals, Vodacom will enter into service provider agreements with Synergy Communications in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d'Ivoire; Internet Technologies Angola (ITA) in Angola and Vodafone Ghana in Ghana," it said in a statement.

The South Africa-based mobile operator said that in each market its partners will acquire all of the operations and assets held by Vodacom.

"The transactions support Vodacom Group's enterprise strategy in Africa, which has been refocused to grow and strengthen its core business. It will no longer directly service global enterprise customers in these five markets but will instead continue to operate as a pan African telecommunications network provider through local service provider agreements," the group said.

"Vodacom has a clear vision for strengthening our position as a leading pan-African business and will work with local service providers to grow in these markets," added Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

"Crucially, Vodacom is not exiting any of the territories related to this transaction and remains focused on continuing to deliver exceptional service to our global and multinational clients in these markets through long-term commercial agreements."

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub

Vodacom has over the years grown its mobile network business to include operations in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho with over 110 million customers if you also include its almost 35% stake in Kenya's Safaricom.

However, through Vodacom Business Africa the group offers business managed services to enterprises in 50 countries.

"To support the sustainable growth of pan-African digital economies and building connected societies, Vodacom will, via local service providers, continue to service clients in each market. We seek to leverage our collective strengths to meet the changing requirements of clients across each of these markets.” Joosub added.

Vodacom says the various entities are in the process of concluding the required agreements, the financial terms of which are confidential.

Vodacom believes its new model is better suited to the digital economy and will encourage greater local collaboration.

"It will also provide pan-African customers with the opportunity to access specialist business divisions such as Vodacom's Internet of Things business as well as its subsidiary Mezzanine, a Mobile Business and Enterprise Solutions provider," the group said.

Synergy Communications is an enterprise and wholesale service provider, which amalgamates fixed and wireless technologies across sub-Saharan Africa. It currently has operations in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique. Synergy Communications is a subsidiary of prominent South African businessman Andile Ngcaba's investment firm, Convergence Partners.

ITA was founded in 2005 and has grown to be the largest independent enterprise telecommunications provider in Angola. It offers an integrated set of solutions including Internet and MPLS connectivity, cloud services, data center service and voice. Vodafone in Ghana is an operating company of Vodafone Group Plc. Vodacom is over 60% owned by the UK's Vodafone.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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