The Competition and Consumer Authority of Botswana have announced the unconditional approval for the acquisition of 100% of Broadband Botswana Internet (BBi) by the Botswanan arm of South Africa’s Paratus Telecommunications Ltd.
Both Paratus and BBi are licensed to provide a range of network and data management solutions and services to the business and residential sectors in Botswana. The aim of the merger was for both businesses to share mutually beneficial business aims by integrating the businesses, providing economies of scale, and sharing both infrastructure and office premises. All staff employed by both companies will be retained.
The merger makes Paratus Botswana the largest independent network services provider in the Southern African country.
The immediate focus for the two companies, apart from establishing their shared office arrangement, will be to rationalise and ensure an improved quality network service for all customers.
Paratus and BBi will immediately implement operational efficiency that will improve networks quality and cost savings for customers. Through BBi’s national presence and coverage, Paratus will now reach more businesses and enter the domestic market and, through the shared infrastructure, offer better quality connections and lower prices.
In terms of the merger, it was BBi that approached Paratus about a possible acquisition, with Sean McCormick, MD of BBi saying, “We approached Paratus initially because we could see the benefits of working together. There are too many independent small operators all jostling for position in a busy market. By combining our energy, ability, and infrastructure, we really will be shaking up the Botswana telecommunications market with this merger – and in a really good way.”
“This is a significantly positive move; not only for Paratus but for the Botswana market. BBi provides Paratus with a direct entry to the consumer market and a national footprint through its branches. By combining the BBi coverage with the Paratus network, we will be able to offer extremely competitive solutions combined with quality and uptime,” says Shawn Bruwer, MD of Paratus Botswana.