Owner of Vumatel Involved in R25 Billion Debt Deal, the Largest of 2023 for South Africa

Refinanced and increasing its loan package to R25 billion, Vumatel and DFA owner Maziv has completed what Standard Bank claims is the largest debt transaction of the year thus far.

This is in response to Standard Bank’s appointment as joint mandated lead arranger and bookrunner for Maziv’s R25 billion loan package refinancing and upsizing, the largest syndication in the telecom industry, according to Standard Bank.

The sources state that Standard Bank is the largest lender in Africa in terms of assets.

Maziv owed almost R20 billion, according to Pieter Uys, head of Remgro’s strategic investments, who spoke with MyBroadband in September.

Additionally, Uys said that Maziv would exercise extreme caution before taking on additional debt in order to prevent overly inflating its balance sheet.

Maziv is effectively owned by Johann Rupert’s investment holdings business, Remgro, which holds a 57.03% share in Community Investment Ventures Holdings Limited (CIVH).

Busy providing fiber to South Africa’s impoverished, heavily crowded townships, Vumatel initiated a trial project in Alexandra earlier this year.

The product is dubbed “Vuma Key,” and its goal is to provide entry-level, prepaid high-speed uncapped fiber broadband for between R100 and R150 a month.

This is in addition to its current prepaid Vuma Reach offering, which starts at R400 per month, and its suburban Vuma Core service, which has a monthly starting price of about R700.

According to Standard Bank, “the deal’s completion opens the door to enhanced connectivity and ensures that consumer and enterprise customers increasingly benefit from fiber.”

“It will facilitate increased adoption of broadband in South Africa’s underserved areas.”

Josh Gloak, executive in charge of business financing solutions at Standard Bank CIB, reported that the oversubscription rate across the 11 lenders was impressive, coming in at 1.58 times.

Gloak said this demonstrated the market’s increasing desire for well-organized transactions in expanding industries.

Kwanele Onyango, a senior coverage executive for media, technology, and communications at Standard Bank CIB, described the agreement as a huge turning point and among the biggest deals in South Africa’s telecom industry in the last ten years.

According to Byron Billett, CFO of Maziv, the funding will assist South Africa reach its full potential.

“This funding will help us build a nation that has access to an abundance of information and knowledge that empowers its people to move forward. At Maziv, we believe in a world where everyone is connected,” said Billett.

“We think that the first step towards realizing South Africa’s potential is implementing dependable and easily obtainable fiber solutions.”

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