Telkom, BCX deal edges closer

The R2.7bn transaction by Telkom to buy fast-growing technology group Business Connexion (BCX) is edging closer and both companies sees the deal closing by 30 April 2015.

Telkom bid for BCX, announced in June 2014, is still being reviewed by SA regulators, which in 2007 blocked Africa’s biggest fixed-line telephone group’s attempt to buy the technology firm. The regulator said at the time that the deal would have resulted in Telkom thwarting competition in the managed network service sector, which could have led to exiting of smaller players and lesser opportunities for consumer.

Isaac Mophatlane, BCX CEO, said on Tuesday that the acquisition of BCX by Telkom is still well on track.

Both Telkom and BCX said  in statement: “Shareholders are further advised that the implementation agreement entered into between the parties on 21 May 2014, as amended by addenda, has been further amended to extend the Long Stop Date from 31 March 2015 to 30 April 2015, in order to extend the time available for the completion of the regulatory approval processes outlined above.”

The deal has already been given a nod by four regional watchdogs – the Namibian Competition Commission, Tanzania Fair Competition Commission, Competition Authority of Botswana, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The transaction is still awaiting approval from South Africa’s regulators – Competition Authorities; the Independent Communication Authority of SA (ICASA) and the issue of a compliance certificate by the Takeover Regulation Panel.

Telkom is chasing BCX to bulk up its information and communications technology business in order to address the technology and communication needs of South African businesses nationally.

BCX has operations in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

It is a leading IT service provider in South Africa, provides strong presence in East Africa and has an established presence in West Africa, which it continues to grow through aggressive acquisitions.

BCX is also the largest employer of ICT skills in Africa with close to 7 000 employees, who have vast experience in delivering large projects on the continent.

The 33-year-old business is also an African leader in cloud services. Through the merger of UCS and Canoa, BCX has the largest ICT support services footprint with more than 1 000 skilled engineers.

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