Dimension Data division Internet Solutions has announced it is acquiring MWeb Business as well as the core network assets of the MWeb Internet service provider business and Optinet. The businesses are owned by Naspers through its pay-television subsidiary MultiChoice.
Separately, Dimension Data has announced that it will launch a new company called WirelessCo, which will build and operate an open-access, carrier-grade Wi-Fi network. WirelessCo will be 51% owned by Dimension Data and 49% by MultiChoice. Both transactions are subject to approval by the competition authorities.
Discussions between the parties have been taking place for at least the past 10 months. TechCentral broke the news in December 2013 that Dimension Data and Naspers had been engaged in talks about a merger of some sort. Dimension Data said the acquisition of the three the MWeb network assets and of MWeb Business and Optinet will result in the transfer of the network assets and bandwidth contracts of MWeb Connect to Internet Solutions. MWeb Business, Optinet and MWeb Connect engineering and support employees will be transferred to Internet Solutions, it said.
“MWeb Business and Internet Solutions will be able to serve this market segment more competitively and ensure that the ICT offerings for this sector are designed and supported in a way that is economically viable and, importantly, support them in operating and growing their business,” said Dimension Data Middle East and Africa CEO Derek Wilcocks in a statement.
“There is a strong strategic and cultural fit between MWeb Business and Internet Solutions and the combined entities will have the scale to compete in the small and medium enterprise (SME) market, while the SME market will benefit from access to a wider range of services, more market competitive prices and greater support for their ICT.” MWeb’s Optinet, which provides services to Naspers group companies, will continue to do so. MWeb Business is focused on the SME market in South Africa and has 5 000 clients.
On the decision to create WirelessCo, Dimension Data said the business will combine the Wi-Fi network assets of Dimension Data-owned Wi-Fi provider AlwaysOn, together with the Wi-Fi assets of MWeb WiFi. The AlwaysOn retail consumer business will continue to operate as a separate entity. Employees of MWeb WiFi, as well as AlwaysOn employees who manage the AlwaysOn network will be employed by WirelessCo.
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