An end in sight

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology - BELINDA AN­DER­SON

THE END IS fi­nally in sight for Busi­ness Con­nex­ion share­hold­ers in the pro­tracted pos­si­ble ac­qui­si­tion by Telkom, with Com­pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal hear­ings set down for a month start­ing from 13 March.

Busi­ness Con­nex­ion (BCX) CEO Peter Watt, who was sound­ing more up­beat than for some time, said – with­out want­ing to pre-empt the board’s de­ci­sion – that it did seem likely that it would agree to ex­tend the dead­line for the trans­ac­tion be­yond 15 March, the date cur­rently in place.

Once the hear­ings are over, the Tri­bunal has un­der­taken to make its de­ci­sion quickly; within 20 work­ing days, Watt said. This should be around mid-May.

Watt said he did not be­lieve that the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion had ap­plied its mind to the rel­e­vant is­sues, in the rea­son­ing be­hind its de­ci­sion to rec­om­mend the Tri­bunal op­pose the trans­ac­tion, adopt­ing a “text­book approach”. BCX felt it owed it to share­hold­ers to give them the best pos­si­ble chance of do­ing the deal, and thus looked for­ward to the case be­ing put be­fore the Tri­bunal dur­ing hear­ings.

The re­cent muted in­terim re­sults per­for­mance paints a pic­ture of an “in­wardly” fo­cused com­pany, largely, BCX said, be­cause of com­plet­ing its SAP im­ple­men­ta­tion and mov­ing all ex­ist­ing clients across to its data cen­tres. With that out of the way, and more than dou­ble the nor­mal num­ber of ten­der ap­pli­ca­tions out there, BCX be­lieves the next six months will be a pe­riod of ex­pan­sion.

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