Telecel confirms offer of stake to Empowerment Corporation

23 Apr 2010

Telecel Globe, part of Egypt-based Orascom Telecom, has confirmed that it will reduce its stake in mobile operator Telecel Zimbabwe to below 50% by selling a tranche to local shareholders, in compliance with the country’s Indigenisation and Empowerment Act. In a statement quoted by The Zimbabwean newspaper, Telecel Globe’s CEO Kai Uebach said he had met officials from the Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to assure them that the company would comply with regulations. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s second largest cellco, is owned by Telecel Globe (60%, formerly Telecel International), and the Empowerment Corporation (40%), itself comprising Kestrel (23%), IEG (18%), Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation (17%), National Miners’ Association (14%), Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (14%) and Magamba eChimurenga (14%). The Empowerment Consortium was given pre-emptive rights to acquire an 11% stake from Telecel by the government, which has ordered foreign investors to reduce stakes in certain sectors to 49%. Uebach stated that the Empowerment Corporation will be given the first option to purchase the shares, which will be sold at market rates. He added the ownership change should still enable Telecel Zimbabwe to continue to develop. The company is in the process of expanding by rolling out 170 additional base stations throughout the country, and has recently invested heavily in stabilising its network by installing generators and batteries at base stations to cope with frequent power outages.