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Telkom SA sheds Pan African business

December 22, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Telkom SA Ltd today announced that it has sold its Pan African business, iWayAfrica and Africa Online Mauritius, which was an immaterial part of the Group, through a private sale to Gondwana International Networks.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom SA Group CEO. (Image source: File)

Sipho Maseko, Telkom SA Group CEO. (Image source: File)

Telkom’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sipho Maseko, said, “This transaction is one of many initiatives that will contribute to our own turnaround, allowing us to focus on our core South African fixed-line and mobile operations. We are also pursuing several other initiatives in a coordinated manner to restore Telkom’s financial health.”

iWayAfrica was formed as the result of the amalgamation of MWEB Africa and Africa Online in 2007 when MWEB Africa was purchased by Telkom SA.

Maseko said that Telkom has struggled to drive growth and profitability in the iWayAfrica business since it was acquired.

“Several years of poor performance of the iWay Group has resulted in continued negative EBITDA contribution to our Group.”

Maseko also expressed that Telkom was of the view that Gondwana has the tangible experience of managing and owning ISP’s on the African continent and believes that this is beneficial in taking the business forward.

Referring to their purchase that was concluded late afternoon on Friday, 20 December 2013, Gondwana International Networks indicated that they were very excited at their purchase and that their acquisition is a long term investment.

Gondwana’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mathew Welthagen said, “We intend to invest heavily in the business in the future.

“We see the opportunities that this offers us as essential to form a platform for our growth in the lucrative, albeit difficult ISP markets in Africa, and we are confident that we will be in a position to expand this moving forward.

“By applying sound business principles and focussing on skilled resources within the specific country territories, we are confident that we can positively turnaround the iWay business in the short term and provide significant growth thereafter,” added Welthagen.

The iWayAfrica business operates in eight countries on the continent offering terrestrial wireless and VSAT services to business and residential markets as well as via its channel partners in many other countries on the continent.

Maseko said, “It is important to note that Telkom’s investment in iWayAfrica was already fully impaired during the 2012 financial year and a sale at this time made perfect sense.

“We have spent the year concentrating our efforts on stabilising our South African business and our focus now is on reviving Telkom SA’s full performance potential,” he concluded.

Staff writer

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