Nimbus constructs TKF line linking Namibia to Botswana

Nimbus constructs TKF line linking Namibia to Botswana

CEO says fibre line is expected to be operational by end of May 2018.

Nimbus Infrastructure Limited, a Capital Pool company jointly managed by Paratus and Cirrus Capital, is in the process of constructing a Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) line in Namibia, from Walvis Bay via Swakopmund, Okahandja, and via Windhoek to the Buitepos border between the country and Botswana.

Nimbus CEO Schalk Erasmus said TKF is a brand new privately operated Fibre Cable System running through Namibia. "It further extends through Botswana to the northern part of Namibia and connects to Sesheke in Zambia."

Erasmus added that construction of the line began in June 2017 and is now 70% completed, and is scheduled to be operational by the end of May 2018.

The company completed the connection from Walvis Bay to Windhoek at the end of 2017.

He said TKF runs on the latest DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology, allowing operators (such as Paratus Telecom) to gain access to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) and allow transit for other operators through Namibia. "The benefit is threefold, namely cost, redundancy and an increase in capacity."

Erasmus also believes the company's recent N$95m purchase of a 26.5% stake in Paratus Africa's Namibian operation will provide Nimbus with exposure and help to boost the TFK line.

Nimbus acquired 8% of the issued share capital in Paratus for a cash payment of N$20 million and the balance of N$75 million in shares.

Commenting after the Nimbus stake acquisition, Paratus CEO Barney Harmse said the company plans to invest over N$150 million on infrastructure, N$100 million of which will be invested in fibre.

"By obtaining exposure to Paratus Namibia, Nimbus Shareholders have immediate exposure to the current revenue and profits of Paratus, as well as the asset base, which consists of, amongst others, terrestrial and urban infrastructure ...Further to the exposure to the current earnings of Paratus, a shareholding in the company also provides the Nimbus shareholders with exposure to the earnings generated by the TKF line, with expectations for bandwidth sales to various entities across the continent."

Erasmus added that Paratus and Nimbus are actively pursuing further transactions in Namibia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

"After a successful raising and listing [on the Namibia Stock Exchange] in September 2017, the company pursued potential investment opportunities that met its investment criteria, namely opportunities in the information communication and technology sector in sub-Saharan Africa."