Tata increases shareholding in Neotel

Tata Communications has bought the 30% stake in Neotel previously held by Eskom and Transnet, South Africa’s first converged communications network operator said on Monday.

This has resulted in Tata Communications — in association with Tata Africa Holdings — becoming a controlling shareholder in Neotel, and the move reaffirms Tata Communications’s commitment to its expansion and investment plans in the emerging regions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the company said.

”We will support Neotel’s efforts to provide global quality telecom services in South Africa,” said MD and CEO of Tata Communications, Srinath Narasimhan.

Ajay Pandey, MD and CEO of Neotel, said that with the current economic climate in South Africa, it was very encouraging that a global telecommunications giant continued to invest in the country and Neotel in particular.

”I firmly believe that such transactions reinforce international investors’ confidence in the country and more specifically in the South African telecommunications market,” he said.

Pandey added that Neotel’s entry into the market and recent success was a clear indication of the growth potential in the industry.

”This transaction further allows Neotel to leverage on Tata Communications’ proven and vast global network of tried and tested technologies in countries such as India with similar telecoms landscape to South Africa,” he said.

He added that the consolidation in Neotel’s shareholding would go a long way in strengthening the company’s position as a stable player in the local market.

”It allows us to continue bringing global best practice to the South African market to position our country more effectively in the international economic context, he said. — Sapa

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