Dimension Data 3 billion shilling bid for AccessKenya ongoing

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“There is a chance that we don’t get the necessary shareholder uptake but I think that’s quite a small chance. The feedback we’re getting anecdotally from a number of the larger shareholders is that they are positive about the offer,” Dimension Data Middle East & Africa CEO Derek Wilcocks told CNBC Africa on Monday.

“The independent report, which has come out which the board of directors of AccessKenya have used as the basis to recommend to their shareholders that they accept our offer, shows that it is in fact more than fair value for the company.”

Dimension Data proposed a 3 billion shilling takeover bid for Kenyan ISP AccessKenya in May to acquire a 100 per cent stake in the Kenyan corporate internet services provider.

The acquisition was temporarily halted after AccessKenya shareholders opposed the takeover on grounds that the share price offer too low. Dimension Data proposed to pay shareholders 14 shillings per share for 218 million shares, a 42 per cent premium on the AccessKenya share price of 9.85 shillings at a close on 5 June this year.

Wilcocks added that there was a possibility Dimension Data itself, which is owned by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (NTT), is considering re-listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in future.

Dimension Data plans to expand alongside NTT’s backing and mandate to do so. NTT is also looking to double its business outside of Japan in the next five years in part through acquisitions.

 “I think our biggest challenge across the Middle East and Africa is that they’re several markets where I feel we could be substantially bigger. If you look at our operations in Kenya, which I think is a very attractive market because it’s a hub for East Africa, and in Nigeria, there is no doubt that we could be substantially bigger in those markets,” Wilcocks explained.

With the new minister of Communications Yunus Carrim coming on board, telecommunications and internet companies in South Africa are expecting a quicker a quicker turnaround of policy implementation and improved telecommunication infrastructure in future.

 “I think the previous ministers have no doubt had their own challenges and problems at a moacro-political landscape but there’s no doubt that decisions have been taking too long in our industry. I think that’s something we’re really looking to the new minister to move along a little bit more quickly,” said Wilcocks.