NetOne’s privatisation talks progressing

12 May 2006

Zimbabwean state-owned cellco NetOne has confirmed that moves to sell off 49% of its shares are under way, and is holding talks with at least one international strategic investor, although it has not confirmed rumours that South Africa’s MTN was one of the companies to have tabled an offer, reports the Harare-based Financial Gazette. The stake is expected to fetch around USD33 million. NetOne is looking for a capital injection to increase network capacity and relieve congestion. MTN, which recently agreed a USD5.5 billion takeover deal with Lebanon-based telecoms holding group Investcom, said it would continue to seek value-enhancing opportunities that met its investment criteria. With around 210,000 subscribers at the end of March, NetOne is Zimbabwe’s second largest cellular operator, behind Econet Wireless which had over 450,000 subscribers at the same date; Telecel is the country’s third placed mobile player with around 130,000 customers.

Zimbabwe, NetOne