Actis acquires $140m stake in Octotel

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Private equity firm Actis agreed a ZAR2.3 billion ($140 million) deal for a controlling stake in South African fibre-to-the-home operator, Octotel

The news is also followed by an agreement to acquire a non-controlling interest South African Internet Service Provider RSAWEB – for an undisclosed amount.

Both deals are subject to standard regulatory approvals, with completion date shared. In addition, both businesses, were founded by Rob Gilmour and Mark Slingsby who will remain as shareholders.

The two companies will continue to be run by the existing management teams while Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited and the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund will fully exit their respective positions at both companies.

Octotel is one of the leading fibre network operators in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Its open access fibre network has passed more than 175,000 premises across the county and it also offers line rental services to Internet Service Providers on a fully vendor neutral basis allowing high speed data connectivity in homes and businesses.

“Octotel and RSAWEB are the latest Actis investments into the high growth Digital Infrastructure sector. We have a growing portfolio of data centre investments and are delighted to now be making our first investment in the fibre sector,” said David Cooke Actis partner based in Johannesburg.

“Rob and Mark are industry pioneers in South Africa and together with their institutional backers have created highly successful businesses in Octotel and RSAWEB. The investment opportunity is driven by the demand for reliable, high quality, high speed digital access in the home.  We see first-hand the impact that affordable connectivity has in communities in South Africa for work, entertainment and education.”

In September, Actis confirmed plans to acquire a 75% stake in a new joint venture with GS E&C, the construction arm of GS Group - one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. The partners will build and operate a 21MW internet data centre in Greater Seoul with a development cost of $315 million.