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VENTURES AFRICA- South African telecommunications operator Telkom has sold its loss-making Mauritius business, iWayAfrica and Africa Online to Gondwana International Networks via a private sale.
This will allow the company to focus more on its core South African fixed-line and mobile operations, Telkom CEO, Sipho Maseko said.
According to Maseko, Telkom has struggled to drive growth and profitability in the iWayAfrica business since it was acquired. He stated that the business was already impaired during the 2012 financial year, making the sale of the business more inevitable this time around.
“Several years of poor performance of the iWay Group has resulted in continued negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation contribution to the Telkom group,” he explained.
Telkom, a majorly owned state mobile company has been facing stiff competition from mobile operators.
Maseko said “We have spent the year concentrating our efforts on stabilising our South African business and our focus now is on reviving Telkom SA’s full performance potential.”
“We are also pursuing several other initiatives in a coordinated manner to restore Telkom’s financial health,” he added.
Speaking on the acquisition, Gondwana International Networks Mathew Welthagen says the company sees the acquisition as a “long term investment” and will continue investing to grow the business.
“We see the opportunities this offers us as essential to form a platform for our growth in the lucrative, albeit difficult ISP markets in Africa, and we are confident that we will be in a position to expand this moving forward.”
“By applying sound business principles and focussing on skilled resources within the specific country territories, we are confident that we can positively turnaround the iWay business in the short term and provide significant growth thereafter.”
iWayAfrica was formed as the result of the amalgamation of MWeb Africa and Africa Online in 2007 when MWeb Africa was purchased by Telkom. It operates in eight African nations offering wireless and VSAT services to businesses and individuals as well as via its channel partners on the continent.