Neotel CEO Sunil Joshi. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Neotel CEO Sunil Joshi. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

VODACOM has terminated discussions over the acquisition of Neotel’s fixed-line assets because of "regulatory complexities and certain conditions not being fulfilled".

In 2014, Vodacom made a R7bn bid for fixed-line operator Neotel. But in December, following strong opposition from rivals, the parties revised the structure of the deal to exclude Neotel’s lucrative radio frequency spectrum.

The deal was expected to boost Vodacom’s expansion into fibre to the home and also give it access to the lucrative spectrum enabling it to fast-track its high-speed wireless network roll-out.

"It is disappointing that we have reached this conclusion despite all our efforts to find a way to deal with the complexities of the restructured transaction. Our ambition to increase the roll-out of fibre-based broadband services to customers remains," Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub said.

"We will continue to look for spectrum opportunities, as well as opportunities to accelerate our fixed line business," he said.