Vodacom has announced that it will be revising the way it will be moving forward.
“Shareholders are advised that Vodacom South Africa is in discussions with Neotel and the shareholders of Neotel to explore a revised Transaction structure,” Vodacom said in a statement.
Back in May this year, mobile operator Vodacom announced a plan to acquire 100% of fixed and mobile line operator Neotel for R7 billion,
The new revision of the transaction structure, according to Vodacom, will directly impact the extent of the approval being sought from the Competition Tribunal and the scope of the Competition Tribunal hearing.
The Competition Commission approved the deal after South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) released (and subsequently approved) the conditions for the transfer of control.
One of the conditions as set down by the Tribunal was that “Vodacom shall not directly or indirectly use Neotel’s Spectrum for the purpose of offering wholesale or retail mobile services to any of its customers for a period of 2 (two) years from the Approval Date or 31 December 2017, whichever is earlier.”
With that in mind, Vodacom South Africa and Neotel took the decision to have the hearings postponed into the acquisition.
“The details applicable to the postponement are to be determined at the Competition Tribunal hearing in Pretoria today. Shareholders will be advised accordingly of the outcome,” Vodacom said.
The decision to revise the structure come a month after Neotel said that it was wrapping up investigations into CEO Sunil Joshi and chief financial officer Steven Whiley’s alleged bribery and corruption allegations.
“In the course of Neotel’s most recent audit, certain alleged irregularities were raised by Neotel’s external auditors. On learning of the irregularities, the Neotel board took immediate action, mandating an independent investigation,” it said in July.
Last month Neotel director Kennedy Memani said “We are at the tail end of the disciplinary process. We are hoping to make an announcement in the next two to three weeks. We are interacting with both the CFO and CEO. After that is done, we will definitely make an announcement.”