Independent cellular service provider GloCell target of a takeover

Techcentral broke the news that Allied Mobile is in talks to buy large independent cellular service provider GloCell, according to sources.

Two well-placed sources with knowledge of the situation told Techcentral that a number of companies are believed to have expressed an interest in acquiring GloCell, with Allied International Investments, part of the Allied Mobile group of companies, on the verge of securing a controlling stake of roughly 75% of the service provider’s equity.

Last November, cellular product distributor Allied Mobile Africa secured $55 million (R800 million) funding deal with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). The company said the debt funding facility was to drive the company’s growth in South Africa as well as their expansion on the rest of the African continent.

From its inception in 2003 Allied Mobile has grown to be the dominant, cellular product distributor and 3rd-party logistics provider to the mobile telecommunications industry in Africa.

But on 11 February 2015, Nedbank Capital and GloCell announced that they have successfully concluded a private equity transaction that will see Nedbank Capital Private Equity effectively acquiring a 32,9% stake in one of South Africa’s largest cellular airtime resellers and telecommunications business.

“Nedbank Capital believes that GloCell is well positioned as a leading player in an industry that has real growth potential, and we anticipate that our investment in the business will serve as a catalyst for its future growth,” Clive Howell, head of private equity for Nedbank Capital, said at the time of the deal.

GloCell distributes Prepaid Airtime and connects in excess of 4 million cellular subscribers on an annual basis for all the network operators through its 8.000 channel partners consisting of retailers, dealers, wholesalers and through its subsidiary Jabba Mobile which distributes product through field agents.

Alessandro Mariola, CEO of GloCell, said at the time that the Nedbank private equity deal will empower the business to deliver on its long-term business strategy and enable it to maximise opportunities to expand the reach, value proposition and competitive advantage of the business.

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