Telecoms

Shareholders halt corporate action process at Vox

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Vox Telecom CEO Jacques du Toit.
Vox Telecom CEO Jacques du Toit.

Shareholders of integrated ICT provider and telecoms company Vox Telecom have halted the company’s “corporate action” process.

This is according to CEO Jacques du Toit, after reports emerged this week that Vox Telecom SA shareholders, including FirstRand’s RMB and Metier Growth Fund, agreed to buy out fellow investor Investec as part of a R2 billion recapitalisation of the South African fibre network operator.

Du Toit told ITWeb via e-mail that under the deal, Investec decided to exit, and the existing shareholders, together with Vox management, increased their individual shareholding in the company.

“Vox was going through a process of corporate action when the shareholders decided to stop the process, and rather accelerate our growth based on the current market potential. Investec, however, opted to sell,” says Du Toit.

A corporate action is any activity that brings material change to an organisation and impacts its stakeholders, including shareholders.

In this instance, Vox was looking at selling or buying and keeping its options open, says the company.

Investec was part of a group that bought Vox for R452 million in 2011, and owns about one-third of the company.

Du Toit notes the company is looking to accelerate fibre rollout to both the fibre-to-the-business (FTTB) and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) markets and drive a consolidation strategy in areas in which it makes sense.

In the fibre market, Vox competes against the likes of Openserve, Vumatel, Liquid Telecom and Dark Fibre Africa, among others.

According to market analyst firm BMIT, fibre presents many new game-changing opportunities for operators, particularly due to the advent of new challengers to Telkom’s fixed-line network.

In terms of FTTH, Du Toit recently told ITWeb the group had passed about 26 000 homes and there are another 75 000 in the pipeline. In terms FTTB, he said Vox had passed 11 000 buildings and connected 9 000, in a market which Du Toit says continues to grow.

Meanwhile, Vox yesterday announced the launch of Atmos, a service that provides South African businesses with a cloud-based call recording solution.

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