South Africa’s richest man plans to acquire fibre provider Vumatel

The investment vehicle of South Africa’s richest man, Remgro Limited is in talks to buy fiber provider Vumatel Pty Ltd. This will help Johann Rupert, consolidate the country’s expanding broadband infrastructure industry.

According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the deal said that it would give an equity value of closely-held Vumatel of about R1.1 billion ($93 million). If the deal comes through, Vumatel will merge its services with its rival Dark Fibre Africa and if it doesn’t it will consider listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The deal would also see Dark Fibre, which has a network of about 10,000 km (6,214 miles), to expand into South Africa’s fast-growing fiber-to-home industry, which Vumatel helped to pioneer after entering the market in 2015. Households in cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are increasingly seeking higher speeds and more capacity to handle rising consumption of data for services including streaming.

This talks between Dark Fibre and Vumatel started in October and could be concluded within the next two months. The banks handling the deal include Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Investec Ltd.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Rupert has a net worth of $8 billion. Remgro also owns stakes in international private hospital operator Mediclinic International Plc and South African spirits maker Distell Group Ltd.