Altron is set to dispose its newly acquired 8.6% stake in Liquid Telecommunication Holdings, the Strive Masiyiwa’s driven ICT entity with extensive network across the sub-Saharan region.
The JSE listed ICT giant Altron announced on Friday that it has entered into an agreement with Econet Wireless Global to dispose of its 8.6% equity interest in Liquid Telecommunication Holdings for about $55m (R588m).
Altron earned the stake in Liquid in 2013 in a move that promised meaningful collaboration between two ICT giants, Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet and Bill Venter’s Altron.
Altron did say that “Notwithstanding the Disposal, the Altron group will continue to explore areas of common commercial interest and co-operation with the Econet/Liquid group in Africa.”
In justifying the proposed disposal which must still be approved by the Altron board, the company said “Following the delisting of Altech and the creation of the Altron Telecommunications, Multi- media and Information Technology division (Altron tmt), both the Altron and Altech boards no longer consider Altech’s 8.6% equity interest in Liquid to be core to the ongoing operations of the Altron group.”
The cash consideration from the disposal will be used to reduce the Altron group’s net debt position.
Altron landed the Liquid stake early last year via its subsidiary Altech. This is after Altech resolved to exit its East African network assets and injected them into Liquid Telecommunication Holdings in return for the 8.6% stake.
Liquid is an independent telecommunications provider for international, voice, internet and data traffic, supplying fibre, satellite and international carrier services to fixed and mobile telecommunications operators, internet service providers and enterprises in developing countries.
Liquid operates and owns one of Africa’s most extensive fibre optic networks spanning over 13,000 kilometres, which provides services to customers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and South Africa.