Kalaam-bam-boom: Lightspeed takeover approved in a flash

16 Apr 2014

Bahraini enterprise-focused alternative telco Kalaam Telecom has announced the successful acquisition of rival altnet Lightspeed Communications, a subsidiary of Jordan Telecom (part of the Orange Group), following regulatory approval. Gulf Daily News reports that financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, with sources simply calling it a ‘multi-million dollar’ deal, while Kalaam’s management claimed the takeover of Lightspeed makes it Bahrain’s second-largest fixed broadband provider for businesses after incumbent PSTN operator Batelco. The purchasing company also told a press conference that the deal doubles its revenues, with Kalaam’s CEO Veer Passi calculating that it increased its market share of fixed broadband enterprise customers to 17%, according to the firm’s own figures, with a target of reaching a share of around 35% in the segment in the next three years. The combined client base stands at more than 4,000 businesses currently, he added.

TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported on 25 March that Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) invited public comments on Kalaam’s 100% takeover of Lightspeed which was agreed on 10 March, to help assess whether the merger might substantially lessen competition. Lightspeed has marketed broadband services across the corporate, SME and residential segments, although Kalaam – itself a Saudi-Bahraini owned venture – has played down any consumer market plans and is firmly sticking to its strategy for continued growth in the business sector.

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