Bribery allegations could influence Vodacom’s plans to buy Neotel

Neotel has been implicated in an alleged bribery scandal, which may influence Vodacom’s plans to acquire the company.

The Mail & Guardian reported that Neotel’s auditors Deloitte blew the whistle on R100 million in questionable payments to a company called Homix.

These payments were allegedly linked to a bid to clinch R2-billion worth of deals from Transnet.

A week later the newspaper reported that Transnet had awarded two CCTV projects worth R835-million to Neotel without going to tender.

The impact of this possible scandal could affect the Vodacom-Neotel deal. Apart from the allegations of bribery, losing deals with Transnet could influence Neotel’s financial situation.

The Sunday Times reported that David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, said the deal will not proceed until the bribery matter is settled.

He added that if Neotel hid information about corruption from Vodacom, the mobile giant will likely pull out of the deal.

MyBroadband asked Vodacom if the corruption allegations against Neotel would influence its plans to acquire the company, but Vodacom would not answer that question.

Vodacom would also not say whether it will renegotiate the purchase price should Neotel lose its Transnet contracts. Vodacom said it is “a matter for Neotel, its board, and shareholders”.

Vodacom added that it is “monitoring developments, and at this stage have nothing to add to the statements made by the relevant parties”.

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Bribery allegations could influence Vodacom’s plans to buy Neotel