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Consortium takes ownership of fibre provider Octotel

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 25 Mar 2024
Octotel and RSAweb gain new shareholders as Actis exits investment.
Octotel and RSAweb gain new shareholders as Actis exits investment.

A consortium led by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire fibre network operator Octotel.

In addition, the consortium has acquired a minority stake in RSAWeb, a South African-focused internet service provider. Both transactions are subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

According to a statement, the AIIM-led consortium acquires Octotel from Actis, an investor in sustainable infrastructure.

AIIM is an infrastructure-focused private equity fund manager and a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments. The consortium, led by AIIM, compromises STOA and Thebe Investment Corporation.

Trevor Van Zyl, CEO of Octotel, says: “Joining forces with AIIM, STOA and Thebe marks an exciting chapter for Octotel and RSAWeb. Together, we are poised to accelerate our mission of delivering cutting-edge connectivity solutions, bolstering economic growth and fostering innovation across the region.”

Thor Corry, investment director at AIIM, adds: “We are thrilled with the acquisition of Octotel and RSAWeb and look forward to empowering their world-class management team to continue to drive connectivity in the Western Cape and contribute to the ongoing digital transformation in South Africa.”

Established in 2016, Octotel is regarded as a key player in the fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business markets, contributing to the digital infrastructure of the Western Cape.

The company's open access fibre network passes approximately 350 000 homes and caters to over 110 000 homes and businesses, up from 195 000 and 56 000 respectively.

According to the statement, with this transaction, the consortium is has committed to support Octotel’s network expansion as well as expanding into new segments.

Marie-Laure Mazaud, CEO of STOA, comments: “We are glad to be part of this journey alongside our partners AIIM and Thebe with whom we share a common goal for the development of the South African telecommunications sector, and we are looking forward to supporting the management to take advantage of new opportunities to ensure a fruitful growth. This transaction reinforces STOA’s long-term commitment to the deployment of affordable, reliable and fast connectivity in Africa.”

“The core of Thebe’s investment strategy is to build communities by partnering with the right teams and investing in highly successful world-class businesses that are involved in sectors that drive economic growth and transformation. One of the objectives of the National Development Plan is to bridge the digital divide. Through this transaction, we aim to play our part in expanding the high-speed fibre network into greater parts of the Western Cape,” states Rapulane Mabelane, Thebe‘s chief investment officer.

David Cooke, partner, digital infrastructure at Actis, adds: “Octotel has proved to be an excellent investment for Actis. The sale of Octotel adds to the strong track record Actis has in digital infrastructure. Digital represents an important sector for Actis and we’ve got an exciting investment pipeline for the sector, unlocking opportunities globally, with $1.5 billion committed to the sector worldwide. The South African market remains of significant interest and we expect to see considerable growth in South Africa’s digital infrastructure, driven by strong secular tailwinds like rising data consumption and internet penetration.”