Telecel Zimbabwe IPO on hold for Orascom-Vimpelcom negotiations

12 Nov 2010

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom will not go ahead with a planned initial public offering (IPO) at subsidiary Telecel Zimbabwe until after the outcome of a proposed merger deal between Orascom and Russia’s Vimpelcom, according to Anwar Soussa, chief commercial officer of the Zimbabwean cellco, quoted by Reuters. In June the GSM operator, 60% controlled by Orascom’s wholly owned Telecel Globe unit, submitted its proposals to the Zimbabwean government to reduce foreign shareholding to 49% to comply with indigenisation legislation, committing to issue new shares on the local stock market. However, Soussa indicated the company was under no pressure to proceed, saying: ‘I don’t think any decision will be made throughout the group [Orascom] until this is deal [with Vimpelcom] is concluded; however there is no urgency right now for us to list or take any action in Zimbabwe.’ Vimpelcom agreed last month to buy a controlling stake in Orascom from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, but the deal has been complicated by the Algerian government pressing to nationalise Orascom’s unit there.

Soussa also said on Wednesday that Telecel Zimbabwe was approaching the 1.5 million customer mark and expects to achieve a 10%-20% increase in customers in 2011, whilst aiming to almost double the total ‘in the near future’ on the back of data service demand.

Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe