Community Investment Ventures Holdings has acquired 34.9% of fibre-to-the-home provider Vumatel for an undisclosed amount.
CIVH is owned by a diverse and experienced group of entrepreneurial investors, namely JSE-listed Remgro, New GX Capital Holdings, Chlanich, Community Investment Holdings (CIH) and Consolidated Capital Investments.
CIVH’s investment in Vumatel complements the group’s existing portfolio, comprising wholly owned subsidiary Dark Fibre Africa (DFA). DFA builds and operates over 10 000 kilometres of optic fibre infrastructure, which is leased to its wholesale customers on an open-access basis.
Vumatel’s FTTH network spans over 8 000 kilometres over a residential area footprint which it leases to Internet Services Providers (ISPs), who in turn sell internet products to the consumer.
Vumatel entered the FTTH market in 2015 when it rolled out a project to provide the Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst with high-speed Internet. The company has since expanded significantly in Gauteng, as well as in Cape Town and Durban.
Vumatel recently revealed plans to begin deploying fibre broadband to townships, with a project to bring broadband internet to Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, expected to begin soon.
“The acquisition will enable Vumatel and DFA to reach more customers with better products in the SMME market” says Khudu Pitje, CEO of New GX.
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Morgan Stanley acted as Joint Transaction Advisers to CIVH. RMB also acted as sole capital structure advisor and debt funder to CIVH.
“Vumatel took the early lead in the fibre-to-the-home market in South Africa,” says Niel Schoeman, executive chairman of Vumatel.
“Strategically, the transaction makes sense for the parties. Telecoms requires scale and access to capital to be efficient to the broader community. South Africa still has a long way to go for all its citizens to have access to world class broadband. The addition of CIVH as a significant shareholder, will give impetus to Vumatel’s ambitious efforts in that regard.”