Saturday, January 10, 2009

South Africa - MTN cleared to acquire Verizon Business

South African Competition Authority Approves MTN Acquisition of Verizon Business

The South African Competition Tribunal has said that it has given unconditional approval for MTN to acquire the African operations of Verizon Business, according to Dow Jones. Verizon Business is among the largest ISPs for corporate clients in South Africa and also has operations in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia. The proposed transaction for a 69% stake is reportedly valued at US$150 million.

Significance: The approval comes after Allied Technologies (Altech), one of the chief critics of the transaction, reportedly withdrew its intervention in the case, according to the Business Day newspaper. Altech had objected to the transaction on the grounds that MTN already owns one of South Africa's largest corporate ISPs through MTN Network Solutions and that therefore the acquisition would be anti-competitive. In 2001, MTN acquired CITEC, one of the four top-tier ISPs, which was renamed MTN Network Solutions.

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