In a recent statement, the Vodacom Group revealed that it will no longer buy the majority of Neotel’s fixed-line business assets. According to the statement, the deal has been called off due to regulatory complexities and certain conditions not being met.
The termination of the merger comes after a Pretoria High Court ruling that Vodacom would not be able to take control of licences owned by Neotel. Prior to the ruling Vodacom and Neotel announced that the deal had been amended to include the Internet provider’s assets but not its licences.
The proposed R7 billion acquisition drew strong opposition from telco rivals Cell C, the MTN Group and Telkom, which claimed that the merger would give Vodacom control of South Africa’s high-speed Internet market.
Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub, expressed disappointment that the deal fell through: “It is disappointing that we have reached this conclusion despite all our efforts to find a way to deal with the complexities of the restructured transaction.”
“Our ambition to increase the roll-out of fibre-based broadband services to customers remains. We will continue to look for spectrum opportunities, as well as opportunities to accelerate our fixed-line business.”