Remgro’s push to control more of the internet infrastructure used by SA homes is being opposed — by a company that has links to the JSE-listed industrial investment giant. In June 2018, Johann Rupert’s investment vehicle, through subsidiary Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), took a 35% stake in loss-making Vumatel, which provides underground fibre broadband infrastructure in residential areas. It has agreed to take full ownership at a later stage. The second leg of its purchase is now being opposed by Octotel, a Cape Town-based competitor to Vumatel that Remgro indirectly controls, according to the Competition Tribunal. However, Remgro CEO Jannie Durand said the competition authorities are wrong in saying that his company “indirectly controls Octotel”. “Octotel is not our business,” Durand told Business Day. Remgro had an indirect stake in Octotel via the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund, such that its economic interest in the fibre provider is only 3.6%, he said. The ...

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