Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Telkom enters the Botswana market

The Competition Authority is seeking input from stakeholders
that could pave the way or derail the proposed acquisition of Business
Connexion Group Limited by South Africa’s telecommunications giant,
Telkom SA SOC Limited (Telkom).

The local regulators said they received a merger filling which
involves Telkom acquiring the entire issued ordinary share capital of
Business Connexion, which will also need approvals in Namibia and
Tanzania.

“The Competition Authority therefore seeks any stakeholder views for
or against the proposed merger, which may be sent within 10 days from
date of this publication…,” Thula Kaira’s organisation said.

Business Connexion, the South Africa-based IT group co-started by
the late Benjamin Mophatlane bought Ultimate Solutions, a Botswana
company, which distributes brands such as HP, Lenovo and Mercer and
has the ability to distribute and manage the warrantee process.

Ultimate Solutions has three branches in Gaborone, Maun and
Francistown and a retail customer base of over 800 stores in the
country.

Before he died, Mophatlane had agreed to sell his company to Telkom SA
for a reported fee of P2.2 billion. Business Connexion Group Limited
is headquartered in South Africa and operates in Botswana through its
wholly owned subsidiaries, Ultimate Software Botswana (Pty) Ltd
trading as Ultimate Solutions and CEB Maintenance Botswana (Pty) Ltd,
collectively referred to as BCX Botswana.

BCX Botswana provides general computer hardware services (which
includes support and maintenance services), sale of software
solutions, information and communication technology hardware,
consumables such as cartridges and toners, as well as a range of
telecommunication products.

On the other hand, Telkom is a South African communications services
provider and its services include offering business, residential and
payphone customers a wide range of services and products including
fixed-line retail voice services, fixed line data services, data
centre operations, mobile communications services and wireless data
services. Telkom does not directly operate in Botswana but
sub-contracts its services to various companies in Botswana.

“According to section 57(3), of the Competition Act, “any person,
including a third party not a party to the proposed merger, may
voluntarily submit to the inspector or the Authority any document,
affidavit, statement or other relevant information in respect of a
proposed merger,” stated the Competition Authority.

The South Africa’s Business Day reported that Business Connexion
shareholders earlier in the week voted in favour of the Telcom’s R6.60
per share offer to the IT company.

“This is a key milestone in the proposed transaction process and we
will now work together with Telkom on a number of conditions that
which remain to be fulfilled for this deal to happen, including
various regulatory approvals over the coming months,” Business Day
quoted Business Connexion CEO Isaac Mophatlane.

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