Telecom Namibia completes Powercom acquisition

Telecom Namibia completes Powercom acquisition

State-owned Telecom Namibia has had its acquisition of struggling mobile operator Powercom (Leo) cleared by the country’s regulator.

The deal has now been completed after it struck a deal with Guinea Fowl investments 2, Powercom’s previous holding company.

The decision comes after compliance conditions added by the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), requiring privatisation of a stake in Telecom Namibia as a prerequisite for the deal, were overturned in court in late September.

Telecom Namibia now owns 100% of Powercom’s equity and has full control of the company.

Powercom is Namibia’s second ranked mobile operator, with 14.7% wireless market share in June 2012. It lags behind market leader MTC, which is 66% state owned and 33% owned by Portugal Telecom, with 82.6% market share during the same period, according to TeleGeography.

As the Powercom acquisition would lead to the country’s mobile market being completely under state control, the anti-monopoly agency, NaCC, ruled earlier this year that it could only go ahead if the shareholdings of MTC and Telecom Namibia were made separate and independent by April 2014.

Frans Ndoroma, MD of Telecom Namibia said that the acquisition would see mobile users across the country benefit from increased investment in new technologies and improved mobile services. “Our immediate focus from today will be on improving services, products, marketing, and network coverage to meet the needs of the Namibian market,” he said.

Theo Klein, chief strategy officer at Telecom Namibia will assume the role of interim CEO at Leo with immediate effect. He will report to the company’s board of directors.

As a result of the acquisition Telecom Namibia will be able to offer converged fixed and mobile services. The company plans to use its infrastructure for backhaul and transport on the Powercom mobile network.

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