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Equinix Enters Africa, Closing the US$320 Million Acquisition of MainOne

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Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company™, today announced it has completed its deal to acquire West African data center and connectivity solutions provider MainOne for an enterprise value of US$320M, marking the beginning of its expansion into the African continent.

The completion of this acquisition augments Equinix’s long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier-neutral digital infrastructure company by being able to bring a full range of transformative technologies and connectivity to Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

This acquisition will extend Platform Equinix® into West Africa, giving organizations based inside and outside of Africa access to global and regional markets. Nigeria has both the largest population and the largest economy of any country in Africa, with approximately 142 million active internet subscribers.[1] Home to new innovative digital ecosystems in fintech and content and digital media, it has great opportunity for expansion of digital services.

Equinix believes MainOne, headquartered in Lagos, to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa, and Lagos is rapidly becoming a key connectivity hub for the wider West Africa region. Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets, including three operational data centers, with an additional facility in Lagos expected to open in April 2022.

Fast Facts

  • MainOne’s assets include: • Four operational data centers, which will add more than 64,000 gross square feet of space to Platform Equinix, in addition to 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions.
  • An extensive submarine network extending 7,000 kilometers from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the West African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
  • A terrestrial network of more than 1,200 kilometers of reliable terrestrial fiber in Lagos, Edo and Ogun States. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 points of presence (PoPs) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Access to key internet exchanges enabling low latency to key global networks, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook.
  • An estimated 800+ business-to-business customers, including major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers.
  • Nearly 500 employees and a management team with a deep understanding of local and international markets.
  • The facilities currently generate approximately US$60M annualized (Q2’21LQA) revenue with a purchase multiple of approximately 14x EBITDA.
  • MainOne will operate under a new brand “MainOne, an Equinix company”
  • Funke Opeke will continue to lead under the new brand of “MainOne, an Equinix company.”
  • Globally, Platform Equinix is comprised of 240 data centers across 66 metros and 27 countries on 6 continents, providing data center and interconnection services to 10,000+ companies including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.

Closure of the MainOne acquisition marks the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions for the world’s digital infrastructure company. Following the announcement of intent to acquire MainOne in December 2021, Equinix recently announced expansions in South America with its intended acquisition of three Entel data centers to accelerate digital transformation opportunities for local businesses and multinational companies. Both acquisitions followed announcements to acquire 13 Bell data centers in Canada and two highly interconnected data centers in Mumbai through the acquisition of GPX India in October 2020 and September 2021, respectively.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Social Media

Meta, Facebook Set up Team to Monitor Fake News, Hate Speech Ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 Elections

Meta noted that the monitoring team will help to identify and flag fake news and hate speeches. 

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Facebook Meta

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp disclosed it has constituted a team to monitor posts made by Nigerians ahead of the next year’s general elections.

Meta noted that the monitoring team will help to identify and flag fake news and hate speeches. 

Investors King understands that the next general election in Nigeria which comes up every four years has been scheduled to take place in February and March 2023. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the Presidential and the National Assembly elections for the 23rd of February while Governorships and State House of Assembly elections will hold on the 11th of March

According to Meta, the team which has a number of Nigerians and others was put together purposely for the election. 

Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze noted that members that made up the team are experts in misinformation, public policy programmes, and communication. 

“The team also includes individuals with global expertise in misinformation, hate speech, elections, and disinformation. These teams are working hard to prevent any abuse of our services before, during, and after Nigeria’s 2023 general elections. Locally, we also have staff who reside in Nigeria and work in public policy, & public policy programmes, and communications,” she said. 

Adaora added that Meta has a big responsibility of keeping people safe from any danger that might come through misinformation on its platforms. She noted that the social media giant has invested hugely to reduce misinformation and harmful content on its platforms while promoting civic engagement.

“We know we have an important responsibility when it comes to helping keep people safe during the elections. Using lessons from the past including input from experts and policymakers across the national spectrum, we’ve made substantial investments in people and technology to reduce misinformation, remove harmful content on our platforms, fight voter interference and promote civic engagement during the elections”, she noted. 

Similarly, Meta added that it is working closely with all relevant election authorities and local partners in Nigeria to ensure quick identification of any potential threats before, during, and after the election. 

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Telecommunications

NCC Announces Airtel as the Sole Bidder for the Second 5G Spectrum Auction

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has announced Airtel Network Limited as the sole bidder for the 5G spectrum scheduled for auction on December 19, 2022.

Airtel has since deposited $27.36 million ahead of the auction.

Investors King could recall that MTN and Mafab Communication won the first 5G spectrum auction which also had Airtel as a competitor. 

According to the NCC, only two telecom companies, Airtel Africa and Standard Network & Connections Limited expressed interest in the auction as of the stipulated deadline which was Monday, December 5, 2022. 

Therefore, the NCC noted that there would be no auction as Airtel would be assigned one of the available lots of 100 MHz TDD Spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.

Investors King understands that the $27.36 million deposit is 10 percent of the reserve price for the spectrum fixed at $273.6 million. The same price was paid by MTN and Mafab Communications before the 5G spectrum was allocated to them individually. 

MTN on its part has since launched its 5G network in some cities which include Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan. The 5G network promised to enhance connectivity and stimulate broadband penetration in Nigeria. 

NCC further stated that an extension sought by Standard Network can not be granted owing to the auction timetable which had earlier been published. 

The statement by NCC partly read “Only Airtel paid the Intention to Bid Deposit as stipulated in the Information Memorandum (IM) whereas, Standard Network sent an email appeal for the deadline to be extended by 12 working days which was not acceptable in view of the auction timetable”. 

“Having met all the provisions in the IM, Airtel has, therefore, emerged as the sole bidder. Consequently, there shall be no further bidding and the Commission will proceed to the assignment stage in line with the published Information Memorandum guiding the licensing process,” the statement added. 

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Fintech

M-Pesa Rallonge, Financial Inclusion Takes Another Step

M-Pesa Rallonge service, M-Pesa is simultaneously facilitating the process of financial inclusion for all while also improving lives for the better

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Vodacom

VodaCash, in partnership with Access Bank, launched its new service M-Pesa Rallonge this Tuesday, December 6th, 2022.  

A joint press conference was hosted at Silikin Villag before officially launching the product. Pamela Ilunga, Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo, and Hashim Mukudi, Managing Director of VodaCash, were present along with Access Bank Commercial Director, Adrien Chensham Mbele.

With the M-Pesa Rallonge service, M-Pesa is simultaneously facilitating the process of financial inclusion for all while also improving lives for the better. Currently, over 20% of the daily transactions are canceled due to insufficient balance. For customers, this can be frustrating, especially in emergency situations.  

In her opening speech, Pamela Ilunga, Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo, stated, “M-Pesa has been on a journey since its introduction in 2012. Undeniably, M-Pesa has been a solution to financial inclusion for the population of the DRC as well as complementing our different customers’ lifestyles. This has made us the mobile financial institution of choice.”

This partnership with Access Bank allows VodaCash to advance on its mission to provide accessible financial services to remote areas and ensure all Congolese have access to basic necessities. Initially, the focus was providing fundamental services such as domestic money transfers and the purchase of airtime. Over time, M-Pesa has expanded to include services such as forex, paying TV, and bills. 

Hashim Mukudi, Managing Director of VodaCash, also announced that “several more collaborations with M-Pesa are coming up, each tailored towards advocating inclusivity and improving customers’ lifestyles, aligning with the 2030 SDGs ‘No poverty’ and ‘reducing equality’. “

Pamela Ilunga added, “At Vodacom, we believe that ‘Together We Can’. We can make an impact on the economy. We can participate in and promote the digital revolution that is currently taking place in the DRC. M-Pesa Rallonge is only the first of several more services we are developing to improve lives and facilitate access to financial services using eco-responsible processes.”

The Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo closed her speech by commending their partner, Access Bank, for sharing the same vision of “responding to the real needs of the Congolese population to financial inclusion and providing a platform that will allow its customers to use this new product.”

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