DRC spat may see Vodacom sell stake

9 Nov 2010

Vodacom may sell its 51% stake in Vodacom Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), if a long-running shareholder dispute is not resolved in the next six months, reports South African news blog www.itweb.co.za. Vodacom has been fighting with fellow shareholder Congolese Wireless Networks (CWN), which owns the remainder of the company, for several months over a funding agreement between the shareholders. CWN accused Vodacom of forcing its DRC operation to pay up to USD180 million to satisfy loan agreements with ‘uncommercial terms and conditions’. It also accused Vodacom International of plundering the Congolese operation of capital.

According to Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys the matter is still in arbitration at the International Trade Commission, but talks are continuing between the parties. However, should the impasse not be resolved within the next six months, Vodacom will look at selling the unit. Vodacom DRC had 3.4 million subscribers at the end of June 2010.

Congo, Dem. Rep., Vodacom Congo (DRC)