MetroFibre buys Link Africa’s fibre assets in Gauteng, KZN

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MetroFibre, the fibre telecommunications company that recently concluded a R2.5-billion debt funding round, said on Monday that it is buying Link Africa’s fibre-to-the-home network in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, is effective from 1 April, with a “transition period” that is expected to be completed by the end of June, MetroFibre said in a statement. The deal means the company now has an additional 10 000 homes passed with fibre-optic infrastructure.

“At the close of the deal, MetroFibre will rank among the top five fibre network operators in South Africa in terms of number of homes passed, with its open-access network currently passing over 205 000 homes in five provinces across South Africa,” it said.Link Africa clients will simply continue their relationship with their current Internet service provider, without interruption

MetroFibre CEO Steve Booysen said: “As part of our growth strategy, we’ll be looking at building and extending our infrastructure organically, as well as pursuing strategic acquisitions of existing infrastructure networks from fibre network operators.

“The combination of organic growth, successful capital raises and a focused acquisition strategy will see MetroFibre well placed to play a leading role in the sector’s unfolding consolidation process, elevating the business into a market-leading position. We aim to densify our existing networks to reach an additional 300 000 residential homes across the country over the next two years.”

FTTB, FTTT

Link Africa CEO Craig Carthy said his company will now focus on its fibre-to-the-business and fibre-to-the-tower services, rather than on the competitive FTTH market.

There will be “virtually no” impact of the move of Link Africa clients to MetroFibre. “They will simply continue their relationship with their current Internet service provider, without interruption,” MetroFibre said.

MetroFibre last month announced a R2.5-billion debt financing round, arranged by Investec adding to the R1.5-billion raised from shareholders in 2020.

The money will be used to support MetroFibre’s fibre network roll-out across South Africa, including deploying infrastructure in underserviced homes and businesses. MetroFibre shareholders include African Rainbow Capital, Sanlam Private Equity and African Infrastructure Investment Managers.

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