Vox Telecom of South Africa Plans Exit for Private Equity Owners

Vox Telecom Ltd., a voice and data provider in South Africa, is preparing an exit for its private equity shareholders amid consolidation among operators in the country’s telecommunications sector.

The closely held company will explore options including a trade sale or investment from a new partner seeking to expand in Africa, Chief Executive Officer Jacques du Toit said in an interview today. Investec Corporate Finance has been hired to advise on the deal for Johannesburg-based Vox, he said. Shareholders include Rand Merchant Bank and Investec.

“Given the current activity in the telecoms landscape, we are using this opportunity to explore several options,” du Toit said by mobile phone. “The shareholders will sell but it depends on the price.”

Vox, which was bought by a group led by black-owned investment company Lereko Metier for about 452 million rand ($42 million) in 2011, would join a wave of developments in South Africa’s telecommunications sector. Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD) agreed to acquire Internet provider Neotel Pty Ltd. for 7 billion rand in May, while fixed-line operator Telkom SA SOC Ltd. (TKG) is buying Business Connexion Group Ltd. (BCX) for 2.7 billion rand.

While Vox has received some expressions of interest from trade buyers, it hasn’t heard from South Africa’s largest wireless operators MTN Group Ltd. or Vodacom, du Toit said. The process will close July 21. An initial public offering isn’t under consideration, he said.

Vox generated sales of 1.8 billion rand in the year through August 2011, its last as a public company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It made a profit of 57 million rand the same year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net John Bowker, Robert Valpuesta

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