MetroFibre acquisition deal recommended for approval

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The Competition Commission has recommended the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Digital Infrastructure Investment Holdings (DIIH) intends to acquire MetroFibre, without conditions.

In June, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), along with a consortium comprising South African Housing & Infrastructure Fund, through its Digital Infrastructure Consortium platform and STOA, a foreign investment vehicle based in France, agreed to acquire a 25.8% interest in MetroFibre Networx held by Sanlam Private Equity, African Rainbow Capital and a minority shareholder.

In a statement today, the commission says DIIH was formed as a special purpose vehicle to facilitate investments by funds managed by AIIM in MetroFibre in 2020 and does not conduct independent operations.

It notes that AIIM is a subsidiary of Old Mutual Alternative Investment Holdings, and the company develops and manages private equity infrastructure funds designed to invest in long-term institutional unlisted equity in African infrastructure projects.

The acquiring group provides individuals, businesses, corporates and institutions with long-term savings protection, investment and lending solutions.

The acquiring group also operates as an insurance company providing life, health and disability insurance services, it notes.

MetroFibre was launched in 2010 and operates as a provider of fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business.

The fibre network operator has expanded its service offering to both residential and corporate customers in line with its strategic objective of being a diversified operator.

It owns and manages its core network, which is a globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 open access network.

The commission found the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets.

It further found the proposed transaction does not raise any substantial public interest concerns.

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