Durban: The Indian corporate major Tata has bought another 30% stake in the second South African network operator, Neotel, to increase its shareholding in the company to 56%.
The managing director and CEO of Tata Communications Srinath Narasimhan, said in a statement that Tata had bought the 30% stake previously held by the South African para-statals, Eskom and Transnet
The purchase of the 30% shareholdings, he said, had resulted in Tata Communications in association with Tata Africa Holdings becoming a controlling shareholder in Neotel.
“This reaffirms Tata’s commitment to its expansion and investment plans in the emerging regions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” Narasimhan has said.
“We will support Neotel’s efforts to provide global quality telecoms services in South Africa,” he has added.
The latest development follows an announcement a few days ago that Neotel and a South African cell phone provider, MTN, have signed an agreement to build a 5,000 km national fibre optic network in South Africa.
The managing director of Africa Analysis Andre Will said Tata would now have controlling powers in Neotel.
“Depending on the new shareholders’ agreement, it could have the same powers as if it had a 100% shareholding.”