Author: Gugu Lourie

MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, has terminated talks with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. As part of its R15 billion fund-raising drive, MTN was in talks with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to sell its 53% stake in Botswana Mascom. “Econet’s unsolicited offer to acquire our 53% stake in Mascom has been terminated following certain conditions of the sale not being met,” MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita said on Thursday. MTN had identified Mascom as non-core to its operations after the company embarked on a review of its investment portfolio. Its shareholding didn’t give it control of Mascom and the power to execute…

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MTN Group, Africa and the Middle East largest mobile phone operator, announced on Thursday it has added 10.4 million new subscribers for mobile, data and mobile money services for the 9 months to September 2019. The Johannesburg-based company said subscribers rose quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) by 3,5 million to 243,7 million. The company, which is valued at R179 billion on the JSE, added that active data subscribers increased QoQ by 4,7 million to 87,0 million. While active MTN Mobile Money customers rose QoQ by 2,2 million to 31,7 million. The operator said service revenue rose year-on-year (YoY) by 9,6%, with earnings before…

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Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) has led a $40 million (R600 million) investment in ElasticRun, a virtual logistics network that is revolutionising consumer products delivery across India. The funds have been raised with participation from existing investor Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital. The new investment round will help the company expand its deeply penetrated logistics network, which is already helping to reshape India’s $300 billion logistics industry. ElasticRun will also use the new funds to further build its technology platform to accommodate new product lines, expand the platform to additional categories, and to evolve its analytics and machine learning platforms to…

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PayU, the payments and Fintech business of Prosus, today leads the fresh round of investment worth $11 million (R165 million) through the acquisition of a minority stake in Fisdom, a high growth consumer wealth tech platform in India. In addition to PayU, current investors Saama Capital and Quona Capital also participated in this round. This move marks PayU’s entry into a new segment, wealth tech, and demonstrates the company’s commitment towards investing in and building a broader FinTech ecosystem in India around core payments and lending businesses. Founded by Subramanya SV and Anand Dalmia, Fisdom is a high-growth wealth tech…

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South African firm Axon Wireless has launched Africa’s first ‘tap and go’ system for mobile SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card registration.   Ivory Coast is the first country on the continent where mobile users are able to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements by simply placing their national identity cards on a mobile phone screen and letting the agent’s pre-loaded Axon software do the rest.   By instantly reading and recording citizens’ identity information, SIMs are registered in an astonishing 45 seconds. “Mobile’s all about convenience and we’re extending that efficiency to the customer sign-up process. The system has…

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The CEO and other executives of the troubled JSE-listed technology group 4Sight Holdings have resigned. The company informed investors on Wednesday that CEO Vince Raseroka has resigned with immediate effect, having also tendered his resignation as an employee. “To afford the reconstituted board the opportunity to allow for a smooth transition, Gary Lauryssen and Jason du Plessis will remain employed by the 4Sight Group. Tinus Neethling will remain in his current role as Telco Cluster head within the 4Sight Group,” the company informed investors. Lauryssen, du Plessis and Neethling have also resigned at 4Sight with immediate effect. The company announced…

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Blue Label Telecoms remuneration committee seems not to be perturbed by shareholder destruction in the company. The committee has rewarded the executives handsomely despite the company’s market value being hit hard by poor investment in struggling mobile phone operator Cell C. Together with Cell C’s trading loss and further impairment of its property, plant and equipment and an impairment of our own investment, Blue Label recorded a net loss related to Cell C of more than R6 billion. The company which used to be regarded as a JSE’s best-kept secret has seen its shares plummet 50% year-to-date and dropped 87%…

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Net 1, the company behind Cash Paymaster Services that used to run SA’s social grant payment system, has injected R300 million in embattled mobile phone operator Cell C. Cell C is 45% owned by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, 15% by Net 1, 3 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) collectively hold 30% (in turn held by 3C Telecommunications and further in turn held as 29.4% by the Employee Believe Trust, 45.6% by Oger Telecoms and 25% by broad-based black empowerment grouping CellSAf); and Cell C Management and Staff hold 10%. Net 1 and Blue Label Telecoms have written down to zero the…

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Net 1, the company behind Cash Paymaster Services that used to run SA’s social grant payment system, is considering selling its 30% stake in DNI, the largest wholesaler of Cell C starter packs in the country. The JSE and Nasdaq-listed firm has framed the sale to generate additional liquidity to fund its other businesses. Net 1 disclosed in its recently published annual report that on May 3, 2019, its wholly owned subsidiary, Net1 Applied Technologies South Africa or Net1 SA, entered into an agreement to grant a call option to DNI to acquire Net1 SA’s remaining 30% interest in DNI.…

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The co-founders of Blue Label  Telecoms, which owns 45% of Cell C, after having bought the stake in a R5.5-billion deal last year, have resigned from the mobile phone operators’ board. With immediate effect, both co-founders and co-CEOs of Blue Label Telecoms Brett and Mark Levy are relinquishing their positions as non-executive directors of the Cell C board. The market value of Blue Label Telecoms has been hammered by Cell C’s troubles in the past few years. “[The Levy Brothers] will be concentrating their efforts on Blue Label only,” Blue Label Telecoms informed investors on Thursday. It is understandably, Blue…

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