NTT Offers to Buy AccessKenya to Expand in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (9432)’s South African unit offered to acquire AccessKenya Ltd. for 3.05 billion shillings ($36.3 million) as part of its strategy to expand in sub-Saharan Africa.

The bid for 100 percent of the company at 14 shillings a share represents a 42 percent premium to its closing price on May 3. Shareholders will also be entitled to receive the company’s 30 cent dividend for the 2012 financial year, Dimension Data Plc said in a statement e-mailed today from Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

“The growth opportunities and liberal and progressive ICT regulatory framework within Kenya make this market highly attractive for Dimension Data to establish an even stronger presence,” said Derek Wilcocks, chief executive officer of Dimension Data’s Middle East and Africa office.

AccessKenya has about 5,000 corporate customers in Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, through a fiber-optic network in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa. It is Kenya’s only publicly traded Internet company and the best-performing stock on the Nairobi Securities Exchange this year.

The shares have more than doubled since Jan. 1, compared with a 27 percent gain in the Nairobi Securities Exchange All- Share Index (NSEASI), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

AccessKenya asked the Nairobi Securities Exchange to immediately halt trading in its shares pending the completion of the takeover, according to a statement e-mailed by the bourse.

Dimension Data, which operates in 51 countries across five continents, was acquired by Tokyo-based NTT in July 2010 for 2.1 billion pounds ($3.26 billion). It already has operations in Kenya, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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