South African cellcos Vodacom and MTN will buy out the subscribers contracted to telecoms reseller Nashua Mobile, following a pair of separate sale agreements worth ZAR2.26 billion (USD214.8 million). Going forward, Nashua is also in talks to offload its Cell C subscriber base. Nashua Mobile, which describes itself as ‘one of South Africa’s largest, independent cellular solutions providers’ offers its customers connectivity options from Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, and claims to account for more than 750,000 contract subscribers.
The company, a subsidiary of JSE-listed ICT group Reunert, has confirmed that, as soon as the subscribers are migrated to the relevant acquiring parties, it will cease its operations. The decision was taken as ‘it is unlikely that the business would generate acceptable returns’. Reunert said that the sale proceeds will be used to settle liabilities of Nashua Mobile, and for the payment of dividends and/or the repurchase of Reunert shares. Mark Taylor, Reunert executive director and Nashua Mobile CEO, commented: ‘This was a strategic decision on our part. Our priority now is to ensure that we maintain our service levels to our customers and that they are migrated seamlessly.’ The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant authorities.
Meanwhile, Orange Horizons, which has been growing its presence in the South African market through the cellular service provider’s stores, has revealed that the imminent closure of Nashua Mobile will have no impact on its future plans. TechCentral quotes Orange Horizons CEO Sebastian Crozier as saying: ‘[The agreement with Nashua Mobile] was a non-exclusive deal, so we already planned to open other stores, including launching a store under the Orange brand.’